Miami Beach Cinematheque Evokes Grey Gardens to Fundraise New Green Cinema Space

Categories: Art, Culture
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Photos by Andre Gabb
If you've been to the Miami Beach Cinematheque this month, then you've seen their Grey Gardens-inspired photo exhibit, shot by Andre Gabb and styled by Stefanie Del Papa. The exhibit leads up to a garage sale at the end of the month, which will raise funds for the Cinematheque's new green space south on Washington Ave.

They're playing to the right crowd. Cinephiles know and love the two Edies from the cult 1975 documentary Grey Gardens. The film features the eccentric cousins of Jackie O, a mother and daughter who slipped from dashing debutantes to crazy cat ladies, living in health-department-condemned squalor. Surpassing even the worst of today's Hoarders, the two lived among possums, raccoons, and nearly 100 cats in a crumbling mansion in East Hampton, New York. How bad did it get? Well, they ate cat food and called it pate.

Little Edie's transformation is the most startling. She went from being a promising model and singer to never leaving home, wearing skirts as capes, and performing flag-waving musical numbers with a passion that was clearly laced with lunacy. After the marginal fame from the 1975 documentary, she moved down here to Bal Harbour, where, sadly, she died alone in 2002, her body going undiscovered for days. (Watch a clip of Little Edie after the jump.)

But there's no denying that Grey Gardens mania continues. America's obsession with these two bizarre, almost-famous dames is evident in the recent remake starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Lesser known, though, is that there was a long-running Grey Gardens musical, a Grey Garden's jewelry collection created by a distant relative, and numerous fashion shoots inspired by their eccentric, yet somehow still couture, hermit style. Here's Little Eddie in action:

Del Pappa, who styled the models for the Cinematheque's exhibit, thinks "people are drawn to the 'Little Edie' Grey Gardens style because we all know that we are kooky and would love to just chuck it all, but can't. Little Edie did just that. She had true personal style unlike everybody else who follow snippets of trends and are too scared to really express themselves. Her 'costumes of the day' were original and creative and inspired by only herself. For me, I love crazy cat lady fashion, and can't wait until I'm older and really embrace it."

The photos are available for purchase at the Cinematheque garage sale on April 27, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Dana Keith, founder of the Cinematheque, says "the idea is to bring something either ahead of time or the day of, to be sold." With the 1975 documentary screening throughout the evening, he hopes cinephiles "will be inspired by the two Edies to become a pack rat, and buy something." Admission is $10 or $5 if you bring at least one garage sale treasure to be sold to benefit MBC. The Miami Beach Cinematheque is located at 512 Española Way in Miami Beach.

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Photo by Andre Gabb

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