Albert Maysles, one of the 2-brother filmmaking team who made the original documentary about Jackie O’s cousin and aunt known as Little Edie and Big Edie Beale in 1975, gave this interview to Women’s Wear Daily in which he defends the idea, to a flabbergasted interviewer, that the Beales were actually quite sane:
WWD: Do you think things might have been different for the Beales if antidepressants and antianxiety drugs had really been on the market back then?
A.M.: I don’t think they needed that. I get alarmed every time I see in the press that they’re mad or crazy… it’s also important to recognize that when somebody opens their heart to a camera, it’s a sign of good health.
WWD: Look, one of the things the new movie suggests is that you can’t exploit someone who wants to be exploited. And they wanted to make the movie. But that doesn’t make them not crazy.
A.M.: Mmmm. Hmmm. Well, my first profession was in psychology.
WWD: Yes. You were a psychology professor at Boston University.
A.M.: Right. And I worked at a mental hospital. So I know a little. I wouldn’t call them crazy… Little Edie was very much in touch with the real world. So was her mother. Maybe more so than most people. She was on to the shenanigans of the Republican Party way before the rest of us.
And she was also no less sane than your average fashion whore who’ll wrap any old rag around them and call it couture.
Below, the original trailer for the 1975 film.
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