I met Al Maysles today. Now I know how he charms his way into getting anyyone from Mick Jagger to Marlon Brando let him tell their story on film. His eyes just pierce right through to your soul and you have no choice but to trust him with it.
On what Tolstoy would say upon realizing the power of cinematic storytelling: "My goodness! I have to put down my pen and paper...and pick up a camera."
On his life full of coincidences which led him to make What's Happening? The Beatles in the USA: "It was 1964 and I just happened to pick up the phone when this British Television station was calling. And they said: "The Beatles are going to be on Ed Sullivan tonight, do you want to film them?" And I turned to David and said "Who are the Beatles? Are they any good?" and luckily he knew and we ended up making the film."
On the strictly fly on the wall observation of cinema direct: "All rules prevail. That is until you have to put them aside."