Albert Maysles

Andrew Pulver “Grey Gardens documentary-maker Albert Maysles dies aged 88”
Ronald Bergan “Albert Maysles obituary”

ドキュメンタリー映画作家のAlbert Maysles*1が紐育の自宅で死去。享年88歳。
マサチューセッツ州ブルックライン*2露西亜ユダヤ人として生まれた彼が心理学者からドキュメンタリー映画作家に転身した経緯はとても興味深い。 Ronald Bergan氏の記事から;

It might have helped that both brothers, born of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Brookline, Massachusetts, took degrees in psychology before becoming film-makers. After serving in the US army tank corps during the second world war, Albert Maysles taught psychology at Boston University. This subject, his family background and an interest in photography, inspired him to travel by motorcycle throughout Russia in 1954, taking photographs inside hospitals for the mentally ill. Although he was unable to sell this photo-essay, CBS gave him a 16mm camera and unlimited film stock with an agreement that it would pay him $1 per foot of any developed film it chose to use. Maysles returned to the Soviet Union and made his first film, Psychiatry in Russia (1955).

Two years later, he and his brother shot Youth in Poland, footage of a student revolt in Warsaw, which they sold to NBC. Shortly afterwards, Albert met the film-maker DA Pennebaker*3, who in turn introduced him to the pioneers of cinéma vérité Robert Drew*4 and Richard Leacock*5 . They were all around the same age and shared a similar vision of documentary cinema. Their first association was Primary (1960), vibrantly shot during John F Kennedy’s campaign against Hubert Humphrey for the Democrat party nomination in Wisconsin. While Drew was credited as director, it was a true collaborative effort, Maysles sharing the hand-held cinematography with Leacock. The film was one of the first American documentary films that allowed the camera to capture the events “as they happened”, with little narrative shaping or comment.

Albert Mayslesが監督した映画で最もポピュラーなのは、カリフォルニア州オルタモントにおけるローリング・ストーンズのコンサートを記録した『ギミー・シェルター』*6だろう。『ギミー・シェルター』を巡って;

The Maysleses’ philosophy of allowing events to happen in front of the camera ran into some trouble when the brothers, with Charlotte Zwerin, made their most controversial film, Gimme Shelter (1970), a documentary of the Rolling Stones’ free concert held at Altamont Speedway, near San Francisco, in December 1969, in which the fatal stabbing of a black youth by a member of the Hell’s Angels was caught on film. Many critics felt that it was exploitative, some suggesting that the film-makers were complicit in the murder, photographing it and then profiting from the film’s theatrical release. The directors seemed to have compounded their error by using the structural device of having the Stones witness slow-motion footage of the killing.
ギミー・シェルター [DVD]

ギミー・シェルター [DVD]

Albert Mayslesの流儀はDirect Cinemaと呼ばれる(というかMaysles自身が命名)。英国のFree Cinema、仏蘭西のCinéma Véritéとともに、1920年代蘇聯におけるKino-praudaの系譜を引く。勿論、仏蘭西ヌーヴェル・ヴァーグとも密接に関係している。

Daniel Tapper “Blogging a Revolutionary film festival: Godard vs Maysles”

かつてジャン=リュック・ゴダールはAlbert Mayslesのことを「米国最良のカメラマン」と賞賛したのだが、この記事では、ローリング・ストーンズを扱った2本の映画、『ギミー・シェルター』とゴダールの『ワン・プラス・ワン』*7が比較されている。

ワン・プラス・ワン [DVD]

ワン・プラス・ワン [DVD]