Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lilith's Garden

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010) - Fiennes
Anselm Kiefer, a well regarded post-war German artist who is known for his metaphoric, history resonating (especially German war past) work, using paintings and sculptures made with organic/inorganic materials. Fiennes documents Kiefer's large scale projects in Barjac, Southern France. With tunnels and burrows and glass boxes, it's a labyrinthine industrial space where every room is filled with Kiefer's rough and organic creations. Anchored by an interview in the middle of the film between Kiefer and a German Journalist where we get most of the information from (his artistic intentions, philosophy, etc.), the doc is not a biographical one. Except when the artist is at work, giving his team and assistants various instructions (mostly in French) on location filled with fork lifts, kilns, cranes and cement mixers, the film is without narration.

Fiennes leaves the process and the work speak for themselves, and it's fascinating. The combination of long smooth tracking and crane shots and the nature of Kiefer's post apocalyptic, industrial work involving concrete, twisted metal and lots and lots of broken glass with the György Ligeti soundtrack are comparable to Tarkovsky images.

I really liked him making connections with the sea (where we all come from) and the books (human knowledge, which serves as foundation literally and figuratively in his works) and the giant cement towers surrounded by nature, invoking Lilith from the bible (hence the title). A great doc.

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