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Tuesday 15 September 2009. Part of Cinema Sunset.

In September’s Cinema Sunset (September the 15th 2009) the artist Alexis Blake was invited to introduce the documentary Grey Gardens. Blake shared her enthusiasm and astonishment with the public over this humouristic, yet tragic portrait of a mother and daughter who hold each other in an inescapable stranglehold.

Grey Gardens

Release: 1975

Runtime: 100 min.

Directors: Albert and David Maysles

Cast: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith ”Little Edie” Bouvier Beale

The Beales, Jacqueline Kennedy’s eccentric aunt and cousin, live in a filthy, decaying, 28-room family mansion amongst the rich in the exclusive East Hampton. Regret and the what-could-have-beens are what they seem to most ponder in their lives. They do not leave the grounds and have their groceries delivered. Edith senior lives primarily in her bedroom, in a twin bed covered with garbage and cats, while Edie junior constantly dreams of a time when she can return to living in New York City, using her mother as an excuse why she can’t.

The documentary Grey Gardens presents us with a serio-comic, tragic reality, through an insight of the fantasies, hopes, dreams and regrets of two, once rich aristocratic women. In a very intimate way the film explores themes like: mother-daughter relationship, co-dependency and decaying aristocracy.

Little Edie Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens
Little Edie Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens