Robert Drew's "Primary" & discussion with Albert Maysles [STAUNCH! A Grey Gardens Festival II]
STAUNCH: A Grey Gardens Festival II
Curated by Rebekah and Sara Maysles
Dir. Robert Drew, 1960, 60 min.
Shot by Richard Leacock and Albert Maysles and edited by D.A. Pennebaker, Primary is considered a milestone in the direct cinema movement in America. With their use of mobile cameras and light equipment, Leacock and Maysles were able to achieve a level of intimacy with the film's subjects unseen in earlier documentaries. The film covers the 1960 Wisconsin Primary election between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey for the Democratic Party nomination for President, with stunning black and white close-ups of both candidates on the road while campaigning, which speak for themselves. It also portrays a young Jacqueline Kennedy supporting her husband on the road, a role which, but for a twist of fate (the death of the elder Joe Kennedy) Little Edith Bouvier Beale may herself have filled.
When David Maysles asked Little Edie if she ever thought of the possiblity of being first lady, she responded "I think I could have if I hadn't always been tied down. You know, I was tied down even then - I had to return to East Hampton... I think that was a swimming meet, the house party [where I met Joe Kennedy]... He was much nicer than Jack. Jack couldn't compare! But I think they were just as happy with Jackie as they would have been with Edith Beale. Cause think of what I would have dragged into the White House. I would have had the South floating all around the White House every minute."
Followed by a discussion with Albert Maysles, a cinematographer on Primary and Grey Gardens director.
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