FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
REMINDER: Maysles Cinema Kicks Off 2013 Pride Month With Staunch! A Gay Gardens Celebration V - THIS WEEKEND!
5th annual celebration of the legacy of seminal cinema verite documentary Grey Gardens. This year we kick off Pride by exploring the classic through a queer lens and celebrating its long-standing gay cult following.
Grey Gardens, the groundbreaking 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles, will assume the colors of the rainbow with Staunch! A Gay Gardens Celebration V, the fifth annual weekend-long tribute to the film and its pop culture legacy. The series, originally conceived in 2009 by Rebekah and Sara Maysles, daughters of Albert Maysles and authors of the book “Grey Gardens, ” will be held this Friday, June 7th - Sunday, June 9th at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. This year’s theme of “Gay Gardens” is a nod of appreciation to the film’s iconic status within the queer community, and fittingly coincides with the beginning of Pride month. The series is curated by Ilona Brand.
This weekend’s Staunch! A Gay Gardens Celebration V line up includes T.V. Transvestite - made before Paris is Burning and today’s more mainstream drag entertainment. Shot in 1982 by Italian filmmakers, Simone di Bagno and Michele Capozzi, the documentary captures a “House of LaBeija” drag ball at a Harlem Bingo hall emceed by legendary drag performance artist Pepper LaBeija.Update: Following TV Transvestite there will be a post-screening Q&A with Drag historian and Gay Studies scholar Joe E. Jeffreys.
The cornerstone of the series, Grey Gardens, will be screened on Saturday, June 8th along with companion film The Beales of Grey Gardens. Albert and David Maysles’ tour de force depicts the lives of reclusive, mother-daughter socialites Big Edie and Little Edie in their dilapidated East Hampton manse. Don’t miss out on the panel discussion with famed director Albert Maysles, Harlem historian and author Michael Henry Adams and Jerry “The Marble Faun” Torre, a character in Grey Gardens.
Update: Queer theorist and author Jack Halberstam is no longer available (via Skype) however Jon Mallow, former host of Logo’s “Drag Ya Later” and VP of Digital at VH1 has just joined Saturday’s panel.
The weekend will close with Tarnation - director Jonathan Caouette’s autobiographical account of growing up gay in Texas with his schizophrenic mother, as pieced together from 19 years of collected Super 8 film, VHS tape, photographs and answering machine messages. Rough cuts from the film piqued the interest of actor/writer/director John Cameron Mitchell and director Gus Van Sant, who ultimately shepherded the project to completion and critical acclaim. A Q&A with Jonathan Caouette will follow.
Screenings are open to the public and tickets are $10 suggested donation.
Film descriptions and screening times
Friday, June 7th, 7:30pm
Simone di Bagno and Michele Capozzi, 1982, 60 min.
Before Paris is Burning, there was T.V. Transvestite. Shot in 1982 by filmmakers Simone di Bagno and Michele Capozzi, the documentary captures a fierce House of LaBeija ball thrown at a Harlem Bingo hall. “Lost” and not screened in public for over two decades, this rare film shows such legends as Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey and Sugar in a period before voguing and at the advent of AIDS.
Q&A with Drag historian and Gay Studies scholar Joe E. Jeffreys.
Saturday, June 8th, 5:30pm
The Beales of Grey Gardens
Albert Maysles & David Maysles, 2006, 91 min.
The 1976 cinema vérité classic Grey Gardens, which captured in remarkable close-up the lives of the eccentric East Hampton recluses Big and Little Edie Beale, has spawned everything from a midnight-movie cult following to a Broadway musical, to a Hollywood adaptation. The filmmakers then went back to their vaults of footage to create part two, The Beales of Grey Gardens, a tribute both to these indomitable women and to the original landmark documentary’s legions of fans, who have made them American counterculture icons.
Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde & Muffie Meyer, 1976, 94 min.
Meet Big and Little Edie Beale-high-society dropouts, mother and daughter, reclusive cousins of Jackie O.-thriving together amid the decay and disorder of their ramshackle East Hampton mansion. An impossibly intimate portrait and an eerie echo of the Kennedy Camelot, Albert and David Maysles’s 1976 Grey Gardens
quickly became a cult classic and established Little Edie as a fashion icon and philosopher queen. The film and the Beales themselves have since inspired fashion lines, songs, a Broadway musical, several off-Broadway shows, and a 2009 HBO film staring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.
Panel discussion with director Albert Maysles, historian Michael Henry Adams (“Harlem Lost and Found” and the upcoming book “Homo Harlem”), Jerry “The Marble Faun” Torre, a character in Grey Gardens and Jon Mallow, former host of Logo’s “Drag Ya Later” and VP of Digital at VH1.
Sunday, June 9th, 7:30pmTarnation
Jonathan Caouette, 2004, 100 min.
In the making since the director was 11-years-old and completed on a reported budget of about 200 dollars, Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation is an experimental and self-reflective mix of documentary and fiction. Bringing together a collection of home movies, family photos, answering machine messages, reenactments and Caouette’s video diary, the film attempts to delve into the filmmaker’s experiences growing up queer with a schizophrenic mother. Jonathan also directed his third film, the critically acclaimed Walk Away Renée in 2011. A follow up of sorts toTarnation, Walk Away Renée documents Caouette’s cross-country journey with his mother, Renée Leblanc, to an assisted living facility close to Caouette’s home, necessitating a move from Houston to New York.
Q&A following with director Jonathan Caouette.
About Maysles Documentary Center and Cinema. The Maysles Cinema was founded by legendary documentarian Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter). This non-profit, 60-seat theater in Harlem, with programming directed by Jessica Green, is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary film and video. In addition to presenting masterworks of the documentary tradition, overlooked or under-distributed gems and new releases, the Maysles Documentary Center is a space for meaningful social exchange, offering a forum for the discussion of questions of social and economic justice.
Find out more Information and buy tickets right here!
Maysles Cinema is located at 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, between 127th and 128th Streets, New York, NY 10027.
Screenings are open to the public with a suggested donation of $10.
Subway: Take the 2/3, 4/5/6, A/B/C/D trains to 125th Street.
The Maysles Institute is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) and the Union Square Awards.