Iconic portrait of eccentric, reclusive mother and daughter duo Big and Little Edie, close relatives of Jackie Onassis who live together in a filthy, decaying mansion in the Hamptons with a slew of cats and raccoons.
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The biggest problem with this documentary was that watching it felt exploitative and voyeuristic. I disagree with those who saw warmth and affection in this documentary - there was very little of that coming from the Maysles brothers. They took two vulnerable women with a famous connection, filmed their descent into decay, delusion and destitution and got accolades for doing so. Historically interesting, but obscene.
I first saw it when it premiered art the New York Film Festiavl. I shall never forget the sight of Little Edie standing up in the box and getting the Standing O of all time. The Maysles struck gold when they found these two remarkable women (and Jerry too) and the reverberations of their work with them continue to this very day.
Tough to understand how this is one of the 10 best documentaries ever. No sense of drama or narrative, just the two women, who certainly have an appeal and inspire sympathy in how detached from planet earth and the present time they are. But over 90 minutes of their random thoughts is a bit too much.