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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Albert And David Maysles
Middle-aged it may be, but Silverdocs — the showcase of nonfiction film (June 18 through 24) in Silver Spring — shows no sign of slowing down.
Bruce Springsteen pumped up the volume for music at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, and this year, the cinema showcase has cranked it up to 11.
Richard Leacock, a documentary filmmaker and pioneer of the unobtrusive camera technique cinema verite who followed John F. Kennedy on his presidential campaign and was seen by some as the grandfather of reality television, has died at age 89.
Albert Maysles could have rested on his laurels decades ago. He and his late brother, David, pioneered documentary feature filmmaking with their American take on cinema verite, evident in such classic portraits as 1968's "Salesman," about four door-to-door Bible salesmen, and 1976's "Grey Gardens," which showed the squalid lives of two secluded relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy (and was recently turned into an unlikely musical).
"He had a poetic eye behind the camera, which gave him access to anybody because they sensed they could trust him," said documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, who first worked with Leacock on "Primary," the seminal documentary that followed JFK's presidential campaign in Wisconsin.
"I could see his hands on the camera, cradling it in such a way that he could take good care of the people he was filming," Maysles said.