Scottish Doc Institute's Blog

Visit our new blog at blog.scottishdocinstitute.com

Albert Maysles – Find The Good

My last evening on June 10, 2011 at Sheffield International Documentary Festival was a real treat when the noisy party was interrupted and brought to a whispering silence when Roger Graeff announced the arrival of the veteran documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Helped to the stage by festival director Heather Croall (someone should create an award for most energetic festival director) – he walks shakily to the microphone in his crumpled black shirt, and wearing odd socks, one grey, one green – to a standing ovation by the crowd.

The minute he started talking, you could see the teenage twinkle in his eyes. He was moved and his reaction to the crowd reflected his genuine surprise. All his films are about people,  so he proceeded to tell us about developing empathy with his subjects. “Constant empathy. That’s my technique.”

He believes he has a “duty” to “find the good” in his subjects. “We wanted to feel. What was great about our kind of filmmaking was the whole process of discovery”. No surprise that he is still a working film-maker! Discovering for ever.

He walked off stage with his little statue and went straight to the dance floor, a few shots of vodka and started shuffling his feet to the disco beat, surrounded by young female admirers, till the early hours of the morning. Not bad for 84!

As he left the party an impromptu wave of applause exploded and a corridor of arms rose, saluting, like a guard of honour. A special moment for a very special man.

Hope you enjoy the excerpt from his acceptance speech. Watch Albert “pontificating “on how to show “people are at their best.”

 Noe

Advertisements

Filed under: Festivals, ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Visit our new blog

New SDI Blog

New SDI Blog

This blog is no longer updated

All posts on this blog have been imported into our new blog at blog.scottishdocinstitute.com – see you there for the latest posts!

SDI Twitter

%d bloggers like this: