Fans of cult favorite documentary Grey Gardens are about to be very excited. A prequel-style film shot three years prior to Grey Gardens is about to be released after being unseen for decades.
Shot in 1972 on 16mm footage, the prequel shows Big and Little Edie Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Lee Radziwill, as their ramshackle East Hampton home is repaired. Radziwill, who is the sister of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, is the person who convinced the Beales to let Albert and David Maysles into their home. The trailer, first posted on Vogue, includes footage shot by Andy Warhol and features cameos from the likes of Mick Jagger and Truman Capote.
Vogue reported that in 2013 Radziwill talked to Sofia Coppola about the unseen footage.
“The original idea for the film was about my return to East Hampton after 30 years and to have my aunt Edith narrate my nostalgia and hers. Peter (Beard) said, we’ll get the Maysles(es), because they have 16mm cameras, and the Beales won’t be frightened of that, and the Maysles(es) will be charmed by them. And the Beales were terribly attracted by the Maysles(es), because they adored having their picture taken and they adored screaming at one another constantly, and they said, ‘Listen, we don’t want this to be Edie narrating for you, for your nostalgia; we can really make something extraordinary from this.’ It took me weeks of drives from Montauk to East Hampton to get them to open the door and talk.”
Three years later, Grey Gardens would go on to become the iconic documentary it is now, following Little Edie and Big Edie as they wandered around their East Hampton home among the stray animals who had moved into the residence. You can watch the trailer for That Summer below, and look out for it in cinemas May 18.