Friday, 5 June 2009

Grey Gardens

I posted a couple of pictures of the beautiful Drew Barrymore at the Grey Gardens premier a little while back, and now I'm desperate to see the film. Originally made as a documentary back in 1975, it's based on the real-life stories of the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jackie Onassis (both named Edith Bouvier Beale aka Big and Little Edie). When her husband left her, Big Edie's only compensation was their Long Island summer home, Grey Gardens. The Park Avenue debutantes withdrew from New York society, and as their wealth and contact with the outside world dwindled, so did their sense of reality.

Living in squalor, they rarely left the house. Grey Gardens was flea-infested, overrun by feral cats and raccoons, lacked running water, and was full of garbage and decay. Following a raid by the health authorities and a report in The National Enquirer, Jacqueline Kennedy donated $32,000 to clean the house and cart away 1,000 bags of garbage to avoid their eviction. They were the real-life Miss Havershams. Former cabaret singers and models, the two women are also well known for their quirky sense of style.

My friend Anthony's recent obsession with old clips from the documentary like the one I've posted, reminded me of an article I had read in Lula Magazine about their story, which can be found here. I'm looking forward to seeing how Drew matches up to Little Edie.

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