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Grey Gardens

'Grey Gardens' (1975)

Been meaning to watch this for years. Documentary exploring the lives of a mother and daughter (Big Edie and little Edie) who are relatives of Jackie Onassis and living in a decrepit, decaying mansion.

Their relationship is interesting (strained at times but also shows deep affection), they are clearly not in the best of health and they have many stories to tell about high society life in 60s New York. But in 1975 they just seemed like sad recluses living a very secluded life. The mystery of why they are so sheltered from everything remains, because at one point they were so embedded with the upper class elite.

It's a challenging film as it is more or less shot in two or three rooms at the derelict house and is endless dialogue. But it's rewarding and is really quite sad to see how these two ladies lives, which should have flourished, have instead rotted away with nothing but a radio, racoons and cats for company. Reading up on how 'Little Edie' tried (and failed) to rekindle her cabaret career after the film was shot, at the age of 60, just makes it sadder.

The house almost seems to act like a character and a real life symbol of their once vibrant lives. There's one scene where Little Edie puts on a dress and make up and performs a dance for the cameras, which is somehow incredibly moving.