David Maysles was born on 10 January 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. David and his brother Albert were a documentary filmmaking team. The Maysles brothers were among the handful of film makers to first use the technological advance of the small camera - light enough to fit on a cameraman's shoulder - to capture the drama of daily experience. Their films, a form they described as the cinematic equivalent of the nonfiction novel and called ''direct cinema,'' constituted a major departure from the more traditional documentary technique of running narration and static face-to-face interviews.
The brothers' best-known documentaries were Salesman, which chronicled the adventures of four Bible salesmen (1969); Gimme Shelter, a record of the latter part of the Rolling Stones' 1969 American tour (1970), and Grey Gardens about Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale, the reclusive aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Onassis (1975).
Their 1964 film on The Beatles forms the backbone of the DVD, The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit. Several Maysles films document art projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude over a three-decade period, from 1974 when Christo's Valley Curtain was nominated for an Academy Award to 2005 when The Gates headlined New York's Tribeca Film Festival.
David Maysles died of a stroke on January 3, 1987, in New York.
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