October 30, 2008

s-h-i-t

So I recently watched Grey Gardens, a documentary by the Maysles brothers about Big Edie Ewing Bouvier Beale, aunt of Jackie Kennedy, and her daughter, Little Edie Bouvier Beale. In 1975, Albert and David Maysles visited them in their large but rather lonely house (called Grey Gardens) and had the pleasure of seeing them dance, sing (or at least try to remember the words to their favorite songs), eat birthday cake, feed house critters, take care of their cats, and fight over almost everything. When my dad got the movie out of the library and wanted me to watch it, I honestly thought it would be rather boring.I was very, very wrong.
Grey Gardens is one of those movies where you just wish you could travel back in time and be at 3 West End Avenue in Georgica Pond of East Hampton, New York.Big Edie's love and care for her animals is interesting in contrast to her dry sense of humor she shows for Little Edie. Little Edie is very ambitious and free-spirited. Quite a s-t-a-u-n-c-h character.

Little Edie wants to go live in New York City and experience the glamorous party life, but feels obligated to stay at home and take care of her mother in Grey Gardens. Though she isn't exactly at the peak of her youth, her style is unique and fresh (not to mention her legs, which even around the age of 57 were gorgeous) The shawls she wears around her head are "for combat", and her dressing got her a spread in Vogue a little after the documentary came out and if you find the pictures online, please tell me!Both women are a little (well, a lot) insane, but their affection for each other and outlooks on life are greatly inspiring, even more so than Big Edie's glasses and Little Edie's swimsuits.A frequent argument amongst the Edies were about Little Edie's love life. She always wanted different things from what her upper-class family and mother thought she needed. She speaks of a man from years before that she knew she should've married but her chance with him was blown, apparently at fault of her mother. However, years after the documentary came out, she phoned up one of the Maysles brothers to tell him that it was him she loved ever since they met but that she just never knew it. With different feelings, he politely changes the subject onto how everyone he speaks to simply adores her (he even said one woman he'd spoken with had watched the movie 200 times, which will be me in 5 years). No doubt that he was telling the truth, the relationship between these two icons have touched the lives of loads of people.Big Edie and Little Edie are both dead now, Grey Gardens was sold to a former newspaper editor, and surely the raccoons who gnawed at their wall yet they left food for are dead as well, but the Bouvier Beales are far from being forgotten.
if you're interested, a little edie-inspired editorial.

32 comments:

Joy said...

i have been dying to see this movie! it looks glorious!

hazel said...

my family owns it...and i've actually also though it seemed really boring.

BUT THIS POST HAS CHANGED MY MIND!!!
THANK YOU!

Farren said...

I have been meaning to see this movie! I know a lot of people who have seen this movie tout it as inspirational.

Tavi said...

It is glorious! And Hazel, I might advise watching it with subtitles, it's sort of difficult to hear what they're saying but it's too funny not to miss.

la mode est dans le ciel said...

so THAT's where audrey got her header. :)

i will surely go watch the documentary before drew's remake comes out now. <3

City Chic Please said...

ahhhh, this is one of my favorite movies ever. i loved it dearly.
i thought big edie was hillarious.
and little edie is one of my heroes."s-t-a-u-n-c-h!"

Margot said...

12 year old?

i'm speechless. keep up the good job lady ;)

Gabby said...

Ahh I love this movie!

chloe said...

whooo, i really wanted to watch this and then forgot about it, thanks for reminding me, i will look out for it :) :) :) cool blog, im enjoying it x

AlicePleasance said...

Thank you for this great post :-)

Who is Rebekah? said...

Tavi -

I wanted you to know that I am going as you for Halloween. I am 27. It will be awesome.

Jillian B said...

grey gardens is one of my favorite movies in the world
i looooove the part where little edie explains her outfit to the filmmakers
i'm pretty sure that she was wearing a sweater as a turban and another as a skirt
or something of that sort
it was glorious

Bostonista said...

I love this documentary now but when I was younger I would have been bored to tears.

Hannah Cheeto said...

Ahh I've wanted to see this for forever! Thanks for reminding me.

ambika said...

This was out of print for *years* and when it finally got a DVD release, I had to see it. It really is so bizarre and sad...and fascinating.

Tania said...

You should also check out the 2006 follow-up "The Beales of Grey Gardens" which contains even more footage that the Maysles shot between 1973-76. More Edies, more fashions, more cats!

Also, apparently there's a fictionalized version coming out soon that stars Drew Barrymore as Little Edie. WTF?

white lightning said...

i LOVE you have had your first grey gardens viewing. it is probably THE biggest fashion reference EVER EVER besides. there is never one season that goes by that doesn't have some sort of edie collection. and you will have epic gay best friends for life..the MAH-BLE FAUN.
i have seen it a million times and it never gets old.
cannot WAIT to see how lil edie finds her way into your ensembles.

Isabel said...

Haha, I actually just watched this a couple weeks ago and thought it was such a fascinating, nutty little movie. White Lightning is right too, its such an important "fashion" movie!

Dana (MODAna) said...

random - that cat's adorable.

Tavi said...

The cat is adorable!
And tania, I've been meaning to see that as well! I'm scared of the drew thing though. Ew. Nopes. Please. NO.

Elizabeth you are so right. There is practically one edie collection everyyyy timeeeeee!

terren said...

Hi you are amaaazing! this was watched/referenced in gilmore girls and since then i've been dying to see it. thanks for postin'!

Enfievre said...

this is one of my favorites, i especially love the part when she misquotes frost! oh edie....

Lara said...

um....Vena Cava was looking for Grey Gardens type location for the Spring 06 look book....i dont know if they ever did it. also i think Vogue sep 05(?) with karen elson had a grey gardens themed shoot. thats all i know.

Martin Van Buren said...

It's incredibly interesting. It's sweet and kind of sad; they simultaneously delight and annoy one another (like a slightly more lighthearted Beckett play).

If you liked the movie, I highly recommend finding what you can of the musical that existed a couple of years ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgOQZpMD0fE

foolfashion.com said...

The movie, the sroty, aesthetics... everything about Grey Gardens is amazing.
xo, you little genious

Susie Bubble said...

I'm thinking the adaptation will suck a little....

Tavi said...

agreed, susie.

martin van buren-Thanks for the link! I'm already acquainted with the play, but thanks for such a great video link..

WendyB said...

There was a great musical adaptation on Broadway for a while.

GarnetArtist said...

Hello Tavi
I have my own blog on blogger and I am 12 also. My blog is about creative writing and I publish my stories/poems there, though I am moderately obsessed with fashion.
However, my mom doesn't get it and won't take me to buy clothes or anything. BTW, REALLY awesome blog :)
Christina

Iheartfashion said...

I love Grey Gardens! They are such a sad and fascinating pair of women. And the cats....everywhere. So many designers have referenced the Beales, Big and Little.

Roman Clémence-Anna said...

this movie is my these for my fashion degree.
i am like living with this two ladies...
it is a really rich and interesting and amazing movie.. how we can share this moments with them...
!!
so interesting to design a whole collection about them... i know a lot of designers did it befor such as Marc Jacobs and it will be one more!

Invisible Magnet said...

I'm glad that your dad suggested this movie for you, because as I've been reading your (incredible) blog I've been resisting the urge to be your unsolicited old-person cultural attaché and recommend stuff to you like hey you should read Franny & Zooey (you would love it and in fact you seem like a character from a Salinger novel) or hmm I wonder if Tavi's seen My So-Called Life? etc. But now I can rest easy as your dad has it covered.