Grey Gardens – The Oral Tradition #7

Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles. The subjects of the doc are a reclusive mother and daughter: “Big Edith” Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, two distant relatives of Jacqueline Onassis (AKA Jackie Kennedy, widow of JFK).

Despite having no explicitly queer content, Grey Gardens has picked up a sizable appreciation from the gay and queer+ communities. The duo’s poeticism and biting sense of humor, Little Edie’s iconic style, the starkness of two women seeming lost to time, and the imperfect-yet-indomitable love between them must be seen to be believed. Today, Grey Gardens remains an entertaining and poignant illustration of both the healing effects of nostalgia, and the cost of staying stuck in the past.

Mentions
Sharon Needles impression of Little Edie
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
Aretha Franklin NYT Obituary

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