The controversial story of the artist Christo's grand-scale environmental art project in Japan and California that ended in the tragic death of two of its spectators. At its world premiere ... See full summary »
In February, 2005, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed 7,500 arches (gates), curtained with orange cloth that waved and billowed and decked miles of walkways in Central Park. The gates stood for 16 days, the first unfurled by Mayor Bloomberg, who championed the project, giving it the okay after the artists' 25-year quest to gain approval. Archival footage shows pro-and-con debates and various mayors and commissions turning down the project. By the end, the gates installed, the camera travels a winter landscape, orange shining through trees and reflected in ponds. Passers-by, quintessential New Yorkers, express pleasure. Art dwarfs the nay-sayers. Written by
This is SUCH a great documentary about New York City -- to me, that's what this brought home. Yes, it's about Christo and history and art and Central Park (my home away from home) but really it's a love poem to NYC and her inhabitants. The cranky old (and young) people, the curious ones, the playful ones . . . it has all the New York types.
I had no idea it was by a Maysles until I heard one of the Christo's greet a "Brother Maysles!" And you can hear him talking to Christo at one point, making a joke about, "If someone manages to steal one and takes it on the subway, make sure I'm there with a camera." It's yet another of their masterpieces.
And I just loved all the old footage from '79 or so, then got total goosebumps with the footage of the morning it opened. ahh, dawn in Central Park! snow in Central Park! night in Central Park. Christo in Central Park! and all caught by a cinematic master!
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