Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Gates revisited


In case you can't recognize them from this fuzzy non-flash photo from the Tribeca PAC, that's Albert Maysles in the white hair and Jeanne-Claude in the red. (Christo couldn't make it since he was somewhere in Europe attending to one of the couple's museum exhibitions.) They spoke after the premiere of the documentary about the February 2005 draping of Central Park in a particuarly memorable shade of orange.

I thought the film was funny, gave a sampling of the different views expressed back in the late 70s and early 80s and then again in the 2000s, hit upon a few recurring motifs ("You gotta think about who might hate it"), and delivered that touching moment akin to one I remember from Maysles' doc on The Umbrellas, which I saw on PBS, where it hits you: this is/was beautiful. The art, as wonderfully shot by Maysles' crew, and people's reaction to it gets under your skin, bypassing any logic centers, and affects you. I do think the cut of the film was a bit long. (They could've trimmed maybe another 10 minutes off the 100-minute runtime, perhaps.) But I went with J., who wasn't in the city that month and didn't feel the need to venture in to see the spectacle. She found the movie especially persuasive, and now kinda wishes she had seen it.

The next chance to see a Christo and Jeanne-Claude "installation" might not come until 2011, but it might just be worth a visit to the Arkansas River in Colorado to see it. Over the River is currently in environmental impact study mode, according to an employee of C+JC who spoke last night at the gala premiere.

It was at first annoying to me, but later sort of sweet the way that people clapped at different points throughout the screening whenever certain people appeared for the first time, as if this were a stage show. There were a lot of participants in the audience, I realized, and the showing of the film had a feeling of a celebration/reunion two years on. One guy who got a lot of cheers was art-lover Mayor Mike who was the final "gate" through which the artwork passed -- withouth much contention -- before it became a reality.

The Gates was/were one of the first things I wrote about on this incarnation of the blog. Check out the February 2005 archive and scroll down to the bottom.

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