If you’re feeling symptoms of Edie-itis lately—wearing sweaters and towels as kerchiefs, doing impromptu soft-shoes around the house, unexpectedly calling your mom “Mothuh, dahling”—don’t worry, you’re not alone. Something is definitely in the air.
Staunch fans of the Maysles brothers’ 1976 documentary Grey Gardens and the extraordinary women at its center—Jackie O. cousins Big and Little Edie Beale—have been enjoying something of a Gardens renaissance for the past few years. Ever since the Maysles’ 2006 sequel, The Beales of Grey Gardens, culled from oodles of newly found footage, it seems like Gardens has been sprouting up everywhere, from the 2007 Tony-winning Broadway musical, to the fan sites Grey Gardens News and Grey Gardens Online, to the National Arts Club’s upcoming gallery exhibition of the Grey Gardens–inspired paintings of Lois Wright, a friend of the Beales’ and author of the 2007 book My Life at Grey Gardens. Big Edie and Little Edie have even signed up for separate Twitter accounts.
And, of course, this Saturday, April 18, HBO debuts its much-anticipated fiction film, Grey Gardens, based on the lives of the eccentric, Hamptons-bound fashion icons—featuring brilliant, poignant performances from a heartbreaking Jessica Lange and an indomitable Drew Barrymore. (Not convinced Barrymore can pull it off? Neither was director Michael Suscy at first—as you can read in this interview with Movieline.)
If you’ve never seen the original, now’s the time. At criterion.com, for one week only, we’re taking $5 off the already discounted price of all our Grey Gardens DVDs, including the original film, its sequel, and the box set featuring both. And starting today, you can try before you buy: Grey Gardens and The Beales of Grey Gardens are available to watch online right here at the Criterion cinematheque. If you’ve never watched a movie online at criterion.com, click here for more info.