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That Summer

Albert and David Maysles' classic GREY GARDENS immortalized the estate of Edith and Little Edie Beale, relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, who lived in alarmingly poor conditions. But there is more to the story: it was Lee Radziwill and Peter Beard who first brought the Maysles to the Beales, when the two set out to make a film about Radziwill's childhood. The reels of that first contact were shelved for 45 years. This documentary recovers the lost footage. Anchored in Beard's recollections and artistic vision, we are returned to "that summer" in 1972, a seductive dream world and collage of radically unconventional creative personalities—Warhol, Bacon, Jagger, Capote—practicing the art of living amidst oppressive forces of class expectation and prejudice.


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TheWrap by Dan Callahan

Once the film turns itself over to the footage of Big Edie and Little Edie Beale, this movie comes into its own as a fascinating companion piece and prequel to the Maysles Brothers film.

Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

At its best, That Summer proves an effective time capsule aimed squarely at Beale devotees, adding light and context to the saga of this endlessly baffling and singularly captivating mother-daughter duo.

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

That Summer, a new documentary directed by Goran Hugo Olsson, sheds further light on the Beales with footage shot before the making of “Grey Gardens.”

Variety by Jay Weissberg

Almost exclusively composed of 16mm footage shot in 1972 and lost until now, Göran Hugo Olsson’s fascinating documentary recounts the summer when Lee Radziwill and photographer Peter Beard decided to record Radziwill’s reclusive aunt and first cousin, hiring the Maysles and shooting in and around Grey Gardens while workers fixed the place up.

IndieWire by Jude Dry

If the deliciously grainy archival footage were the only thing That Summer had to offer, it would be enough. But by including Beard and Radziwill’s introspective voiceovers, Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson (“The Black Power Mixtape”) creates a nostalgic meditation that touches on both cultural and historical memory.

Movie Nation by Roger Moore

The lack of organization keeps this from being a complete film, or a great one. That Summer is a footnote to “Grey Gardens.” But for those wholly engrossed in the history, the tragedy and the “real Beales,” before “Grey Gardens” set their personas in stone and made them immortal, it’s a fascinating artifact and another piece of the puzzle of who they were before the caricatures took over.

Village Voice by Tatiana Craine

Offhandedly, in a movie that itself is offhanded to a fault, Little Edie cuts to the core of the whole Grey Gardens phenomenon during one of her moments alone with the camera. “[To] dig up the past, I think, is about the most cruel thing anybody can do.”

Screen International by Wendy Ide

This doesn’t entirely work as a self contained entity; the interest and value to audiences is mainly in the background detail it gives to the story of Grey Gardens.