The lost, final Maysles film appeared online for a week during the Great Quarantine, was recommended by True/False enthusiast Alissa Wilkinson, so we watched. Filmed on eastbound and westbound legs of the Empire Builder railway route, so I had that Aesop Rock song in my head (“hi-ho silver, high-pass filter, live from an empire builder”). The movie picks up stories from several regular characters, with one-off scenes of riders in between, gradually building several cross-cut/cross-country journies – a woman going home to give birth, a woman returning to her family after years away, a couple of young men fleeing North Dakota to be with their loves, an aged photographer seeing the country for the last time… somehow all these people and more opened up to a camera crew on their train ride.
The always-fascinating adventures of Big Edie and Little Edie. I’d picked it as a must-see for our short-lived Documentary Month, then decided there was no time to waste since there’s a fictionalized version with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange later coming out this year. Katy liked it, I think, or at least we talked about it a lot. I love how Little Edie draws the Maysles into her arguments, flirts with them, tries to knock them over…
Listened to the commentary at work. Albert Maysles says when they were done editing, the first people they showed the film to were the Beales… they took it to the house and set up a screening in a room of the house they’d never been in before. After the movie ended, a long silence while little Edie paced the floor, then she looked up and announced “The Maysles have created a classic.”