In Albert and David Maysles: Interviews, editor Keith Beattie has compiled a wide-ranging collection in which the brothers, together and separately, discuss all aspects of their filmmaking–the nature of collaboration, technical matters, contextual considerations, and more. They recount a personal history of cinéma verité and modern documentary filmmaking.
The prolific joint career of the brothers defined documentary filmmaking in the United States. From their first films in the late 1950s until the last films of Albert Maysles (b. 1926-2015), the brothers’ pioneering development of the “direct cinema,” or cinéma vérité
, style of documentary filmmaking significantly altered the ways in which the world appears in nonfiction representations. Their influential movies–including the early feature Salesman
, the renowned foundational rock concert film Gimme Shelter
, and the dual biography Grey Gardens
–affected the aesthetics of fiction filmmaking as well. After the death of David Maysles (1931-1987), Albert Maysles continued to make films and contributed to the development of the documentary form.