40th Anniversary ‘Grey Gardens’ Restoration NOW PLAYING

Janus Films presents a striking new 2K restoration of GREY GARDENS made by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Opens in select theaters starting March 6th, starting at Film Forum in NY, with rollout to follow. 

27x40_GreyGardensFINALMeet Big and Little Edie Beale: mother and daughter, high-society dropouts, and reclusive cousins of Jackie Onassis. The two manage to thrive together amid the decay and disorder of their East Hampton, New York, mansion, making for an eerily ramshackle echo of the American Camelot. An impossibly intimate portrait, this 1976 documentary by Albert and David Maysles, codirected by Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, quickly became a cult classic and established Little Edie as a fashion icon and philosopher queen.

The tale of the making of Grey Gardens is “a love story on several levels,” according to director and cameraman Albert Maysles. “Certainly, there was a great deal of love between my brother [David Maysles] and I, to have devoted all our professional lives to the partnership that we had in making that film and other films. There’s a love story between my brother and myself and the two women . . . Most importantly, it’s a love story between the two women. With all of their recriminations and arguments and unhappiness, they had a bond of love. I think they would have done just about anything for one another. When Big Edie was on her deathbed, Little Edie reported back to us that, as she was dying, in her last moments, she turned to her mother and said, in effect, ‘What more would you like to say?’ Her mother turned to her and said, ‘There’s nothing left to say. It’s all in the film.’”

This new 2K digital restoration was undertaken in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The original 16 mm A/B camera negative, held in the Academy’s collections, was used to create two separate 2K scans, of the A and B rolls, on a Lasergraphics film scanner. These were then assembled into a final master using the existing 35 mm blowup color reversal internegative (CRI) as a reference. In addition, a handful of shots in the final master were replaced from the CRI. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, and jitter were manually removed.

The original monaural soundtrack was restored by Audio Mechanics in Burbank, California, under the supervision of the Academy Film Archive, from an existing 16-bit transfer made from the original 3-track magnetic tracks. Crackle was attenuated and clicks, thumps, and dropouts manually removed using Sonic HD, while hiss and hum were reduced using Cedar.   


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