Friday, November 21, 2008

Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary by directed by Albert and David Maysles.
The film depicts the everyday lives of the two women who live at Grey Gardens, a decrepit 28 room mansion at 3 West End Avenue in the wealthy Georgica Pond neughbourhood of East Hampton, New York.

Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale were the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
The two women lived together in squalor and almost total isolation.

In the Fall of 1971 and throughout 1972, their living conditions were exposed as the result of an article in the National Enquirer and a cover story in New York Magazine after a serie of inspections, which the Beales called raids, by the Suffolk County Health Department.

Grey Gardens was purchased in 1923 by Phelan and Edith Bouvier Beale. They occupied the house for aver 50 years.
The House itself, a traditional shingled cottage of 14 rooms and 3 bathrooms, was designed by Joseph Greenleaf Thrope in 1897 ans completed several years later.
The grey colour of the dunes, the hue of the cement garden walls, and the sea mist gave the garden it's colour and the house it's name.
With the Beale women facing eviction and the razing of their home, Jacky Onassis and her sister, Lee Radzwill, provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet Village codes in the Summer of 1972.

They were a source of inspiration to many trends.
Eccentric and stylish, in their own special way, these two women had a major impact on the art and fashion world.
The movie is raw, bittersweet, you want to feel bad for them but you just can't bring yourself to doing so.

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