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“Jay Himself” A Cool Documentary





Review by John Delia

Artists, photographers, architects, collectors, historians, or just curious the documentary Jay Myself the movie opens in Boca Raton, Florida and plays out with the subject of the film, artist and photographer, Jay Maisel as your guide. He adds his brand of humor and knowledge of early New York while reliving his past to present day in photos, video, and much more.

In the spring of 1965, Jay moved into an art studio that was originally a bank in the Bowery of New York. The 6 stories 72 rooms were used as his home, work place and a personal museum. His massive amounts of slides are a testimony to his love of people, places, and things and his collection of oddities and common items is immense. Whether it’s a taxi driver, street vendor, a musician or just a person on the street, with his artist background his camera clicks to preserve, entertain and remember.

Jay Maisel. Photo courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

His address at 190 Bowery, New York is in the middle of change with tall structures crowding his once prominent building, taxes going through the roof and the bank costs over $300,000 a year. So, although he wanted to live the rest of his life, he decides to sell the corner icon and vacate the place where his dreams were made. It’s his last vestige where he and his wife and child lived. So saying goodbye is more than a sad time for him, it’s also a time to reflect in this film so his legacy can live on way beyond his years.

One of  Jay’s many rooms. Photo courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

The documentary directed by Stephen Wilkes and written by Josh Alexander moves along at a nice pace introducing his past, talking with his wife LA and grown daughter Amanda who was born at 190 Bowery. I like how they handle Jay’s moving day with a lot going on, because they not only showing more and more of his personality in the things he has all over the building, but his idiosyncrasies that in most people’s lives would border on hording. It’s part of the comical side you’ll see about Jay, but doesn’t overshadow his brilliant work as a photographer.

Jay Myself has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains language. The film opens on August 30th at The Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton

FINAL ANALYSIS: An interesting documentary about a great artist and photographer. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Jay Maisel
Directed by: Stephen Wilkes
Written by: Josh Alexander
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, contains language
Running Time: 1 hr. 19 min
Opening Date: August 30, 2019
Distributed by: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Released in: Standard

Living Room® Theaters
777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431

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