Showman: Albert Maysles Retrospective | Chicago Reader

Showman: Albert Maysles Retrospective

Three rarely screened shorts by David and Albert Maysles, whose exercises in "direct cinema" (Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens) revolutionized the documentary. Showman (1963) profiles Hollywood huckster Joseph E. Levine, whose profitable business distributing foreign product in the U.S. (Hercules, Godzilla, King of the Monsters) makes him an unlikely patron of the arts when his property Two Women wins Sophia Loren an Oscar for best actress. Dali's Fantastic Dream (1966) shows Salvador Dali hamming it up with Raquel Welch after he arrives in Hollywood to create a poster for Fantastic Voyage. And the Oscar-nominated Christo's Valley Curtain (1973) looks at the installation artist Christo as he attempts to hang a gigantic orange curtain across Rifle Gap, Colorado; unexpectedly, the most emotional moments come not from this European intellectual but from the local hard hats who execute his scheme and find themselves swept into a landmark work of art. 87 min.


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