Director: David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
Christo is world-renowned artist who specializes in doing the impossible: stringing a quarter-mile orange curtain across a Colorado valley, constructing a 24-mile fence of white nylon in California and, in this film, surrounding Miamiâ€™s eleven Biscayne Bay islands with bright pink material. The Rumanian-born artist and his wife and cohort, Jeanne-Claude Christo, inevitably run into hostile local bureaucrats who attempt to thwart their projects at every turn. The ensuing confrontation is often funny and engaging. And after endless committee hearings, behind-the-scenes string-pulling and creative politics on everyoneâ€™s part, Christo gets the go-ahead.
Islands, the third film by the Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin on a Christo project, falls easily within the aforementioned scheme of things. What keeps it from becoming just another episode in the Christo saga are those moments in which Christo the artistâ€”rather than the showmanâ€”emerges. He speaks of the time-related; nature of his work, that its ephemeral quality gives it the urgency a museum exhibit cannot command. He talks about art as â€śexperienceâ€ť rather than â€śproduct,â€ť and treats us to a mini-history of art as an extension of capitalist ideology, And the â€śsurrounded islandsâ€ť themselves, Christoâ€™s homage to Monetâ€™s â€śWater Lilies,â€ť as photographed by the Maysles, are every bit as glorious a visual gesture as the artist h as promised.
Playing with and proceeding Ozawa.
- Documentary Feature
- 1987, Sundance Film Festival
- U.S.A., 58 min.