Newswire: R.I.P. Albert Maysles, documentary pioneer

Spurred by new technology, the American documentary came into its own in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Maysles brothers, Albert and David, were at its forefront. David carried the shotgun mic and Nagra recorder, Albert carried the camera, and together they made movies that became cultural touchstones and helped define the language and scope of non-fiction film: Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens. Albert Maysles died Thursday night at his home in New York City; he was 88.

Born to Jewish immigrant parents in Boston and raised in Brookline, Albert Maysles began his career as a psychologist. A graduate of Syracuse and Boston University, Maysles taught for several years at the latter, before a fateful research trip to the USSR led him to take up filmmaking. His first documentary, the short Psychiatry In Russia (1955), was shot in Soviet mental hospitals on a hand-wound 16mm Keystone camera. A couple of …

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