Found a YouTube interview with Albert Maysles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-rF8Uo5rEw). He quit selling Bibles shortly after the film, then sold roofing and siding. Later hospitalized with rheumatoidal arthritis, died 1990.
touching & insightful...how sad it is to see so many people obviously yearning for communion (with art, with God, with other people) reduced to mere consumers by a dispassionate and spiritually bankrupt enterprise, and how sad to see individuals made into the increasingly reluctant agents of a destructive process out of (what is hinted to be) financial necessity. ennui abounds.
Interesting film, one of the best character studies. Salesmen echos modern times boldly, people just want to connect and survive--the salesmen will go to any length to sell an unnecessary product and the individuals will invite anyone into their home who will give them the time of day. Given safety and society has shifted a bit, the key pieces are still the same. Well worth the watch.
Does anyone know the subsequent life of Paul Brennan "The Badger?" He looks so weary and jaded at the end of the film, I suspect he did not live long, but I could be wrong. ?????
More than 40 years after its release, SALESMAN is an interesting account of the American life in the late 60's. Not once is the word Vietnam pronounced during the film. I liked the scene with the man playing Yesterday on a tape recorder while one of the salesmen is about to have the contract signed by the man's wife. Also great is the speech of a vice-director justifying his business by quoting the Bible.
This is nothing less than a document of the death of the great American hunter-gatherer, one failed sale at a time.
One of a selected handful of films that I can genuinely say has changed my life. The film really touched me and spoke to me in an intimate way, seeing the miserable bible salesman made me realize how unhappy I was at a job I was working at, and I left it shortly after seeing Salesman.
The Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin's documentary portrait of down-and-out Bible salesmen brilliantly conveys an atmosphere of desperation - with its effective, gritty black and white photography and fascinating characters. Despite some very compelling moments, it does go on too long (it gets off to a very slow start) and never quite reaches the heights you'd expect it to. Still, a very interesting documentary.
A beautifully filmed documentary shot through with humanity and care for the individuals that it follows, something that most modern documentary makers miss in their pursuit of the cheap laugh or shock. The final scenes of the film, with Paul visibly coming apart at the seams and giving up, is one of the most heart-breaking moments I've seen.