Salesman by Albert and David Maysles

Factual America Ep 01 w/ Kevin Turley

Award-winning journalist, Kevin Turley, joins Factual America to discuss Albert and David Maysles’ seminal documentary.
Kevin places Salesman in the context of 1960s America and traces the film’s influence on documentary filmmaking to this day.
Along the way Kevin and host Matthew Sherwood discover that the film about hard-luck Bible salesmen is actually about so much more — namely the pursuit of the American Dream.
They talk about the day to day difficulties that many people had to face back then, and how although the landscape of America has changed, the film still keeps its relevance even today.

The greatest gift of any documentarian is patience. – Kevin Turley

Time Stamps:

00:59 – An introduction of our guest today Kevin Turley.
01:02 – ‘Salesman’ the show we are looking at today.
02:48 – A brief summary of the film.
04:58 – How this kind of American world no longer exists.
09:21 – The ‘Go and get the money’ clip.
11:02 – Discussing the clip.
13:39 – What the film is really about.
17:22 – How the film is still relevant today.
18:52 – How much harder life was back then.
20:33 – The technique of ‘siding’ your house.
21:27 – The argument that the whole thing was made up.
22:59 – The Maysels’ legacy to documentary filmmaking.
25:40 – What the Maysels brothers were trying to achieve with ‘Salesman’.
27:38 – The Irish element of the film.
30:43 – The ‘Irish’ clip.
32:09 – Why the Maysels brothers focused on Paul Brennan.


Salesman (1969)
Alamo Pictures 

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