Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
Anselm Kiefer in Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow.
Anselm Kiefer in Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
It’s rare to have the chance to watch an artist at work at length, and that’s what Sophie Fiennes offers with her immersive documentary about German artist Anselm Kiefer. As the titles tell us, 65-year-old Kiefer moved to an old silk factory near Barjac in France in 1993 and in 2000 started transforming the buildings and the surrounding 35 hectares into an evolving exhibit of industrially created artworks. He builds caves by pouring concrete into earth to form columns and erects wobbly-looking towers as a response to the Bible. He works with glass, dust, metals, paints, canvas and crockery, and, at first glance, you could mistake his workshop for a living, breathing factory.

After ‘The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema’, her films about Slavoj Zizek, this is another unusual, collaborative film from Fiennes about the creative mind. The difference is this is almost silent. We hear Kiefer talking to his assistants (‘Now, glass, please,’ he says as they smash huge sheets while building a sculpture. ‘Mmm, nice, nice’) and there’s a mid-film interview with a journalist which reminded me of the chatty scene in ‘Hunger’. But the rest is slow and observational as Fiennes lends her voice to Kiefer’s haunting works with stately camera movements and a minimal score by Jörg Widmann and György Ligeti. The boldness of Fiennes’s film lies in how, like Kiefer’s wonderland, it’s removed from the world and indulges only Kiefer and his work. It’s like watching beautiful rushes of a less imaginative doc. Not for everyone, but if you’re willing to give yourself over to its pace, there’s much to enjoy.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
U
Release date:
Friday October 15 2010
Duration:
105 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Sophie Fiennes
Cast:
Anselm Kiefer
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