One of the greatest living filmmakers and one of the nicest men you will ever meet, Albert Maysles, is coming to Dallas in August for the Dallas Video Fest--which isn't breaking news, as he's been coming every year for the past few to hand out the Maysles Award to promising documentary directors. But this year's visit promises something far more significant: The man who, with brother David, made such films as Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter and Salesman (one of the greatest narratives, non-fiction or otherwise, ever) will, on August 12, teach a three-hour class on doc-making for a handful of lucky locals. The class will take place at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park, which means space is limited--very limited, to just 15 folks who will learn about their craft from the man who, along with the likes of Robert Drew and D.A. Pennebaker, invented the craft of fly-on-the-wall documentary filmmaking.
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Maysles will not only screen bits and pieces of his movies--which also include docs about the Beatles' first U.S. trip, a young Marlon Brando doing press interviews for the movie Morituri, the building of Getty Center and artist Christo--but also take questions from the audience. And he'll even allow up to seven students to screen their work for him, which is akin to a young painter getting advice from, oh, Michelangelo. Then, later that night, Maysles will screen the entirety of 1975's Grey Gardens, with never-before-seen footage, during the 19th Annual Dallas Video Festival at the Kalita Humphreys Theater in the Dallas Theater Center. The class with Maysles ain't cheap--it's $200, or $100 for Video Association of Dallas members--and, like I said, space is very limited, but it'll be worth every penny. Call the DVF if you're interested at 214-428-8700. --Robert Wilonsky