Cast & Crew
After a four-year struggle, the artist Christo drapes twenty-four-and-a-half miles of white nylon across the California coast.
Donald George Klocek
Five Films About Christo & Jeanne-Claude by The Maysles Brothers
-Desson Howe, THE WASHINGTON POST
"The Christos' projects and our films are both outrageous acts of faith."
This Spring, Plexifilm introduces its most elaborate release yet, FIVE FILMS ABOUT CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE. This three-DVD set is the most complete motion picture collaboration ever released between filmmakers and artists. Spanning 30 years, this unique DVD package shows the passion, vision and complexity of the environmental art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The five award-winning films have been digitally remastered with new transfers supervised by Albert Maysles and presented with new interviews, feature commentary on all five films by Christo, Jeanne-Claude and Albert Maysles, an 82-page full-color booklet with an introduction by Albert Maysles, an essay by film critic Charles Taylor and a detailed history of the projects with exclusive photos, technical details, film stills and credits. This deluxe box will be released in association with Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.).
FIVE FILMS ABOUT CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE chronicles a 30-year collaboration between acclaimed documentary filmmakers Albert and his late brother David Maysles (GIMME SHELTER, SALESMAN, GREY GARDENS), and the internationally renowned environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Maysles Brothers, along with such frequent co-filmmakers as Charlotte Zwerin and Susan Froemke, have captured the artists' enduring relationship and the grandeur of their large scale temporary public works. This series stands as a permanent document of the process, the political drama, the emotional investment and the transforming effect the finished works have on all those who come in contact with them.
These huge undertakings, such as surrounding eleven islands in Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, erecting a 24-mile-long/18-foot-high fence in two Northern California counties or hanging a giant curtain between two mountains in Rifle Gap, Colorado, become stories of hope and triumph in the face of adversity. The act of filming becomes the project itself, as the filmmakers are present every step of the way from planning, approval, execution and display of these temporary artworks.
As David Maysles said, "The Christos come up with an idea that at first seems impossible, then lets it grow; so do we."
The release of FIVE FILMS ABOUT CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE anticipates The Gates Project for Central Park, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's newest public work which will be making its appearance in February 2005, along with a major touring exhibition on the project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in April 2004. Once again, Maysles Films will be documenting the entire process. All five films in the DVD set will be screened at the Met as part of the exhibition, with lectures by Christo, Jeanne-Claude and Albert Maysles.
The DVD set:
CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN a film by the Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Ellen Hovde 1974, 28 minutes The first collaboration between the Maysles Brothers and the Christos and recipient of an Academy Award® Nomination, CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN celebrates the dramatic hanging of a huge orange curtain between two Colorado mountains and the powerful effect it has on a community.
"By far the finest film I have ever seen about an artist and his work."
- Calvin Tomkins, THE NEW YORKER
RUNNING FENCE a film by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin 1978, 58 minutes An engrossing document of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's efforts to build a 24 1/2-mile-long, 18-foot-high fence of white fabric across the hills of northern California. The artists' struggle with local ranchers, environmentalists and state bureaucrats ends when the fence is unfurled, reuniting the community in a celebration of beauty.
"One of the most exhilarating hours of your life." - Judith Crist, THE NEW YORK POST
"Shows America at its very best. I was quite literally moved to tears."
- John Walker, Director Emeritus, National Gallery of Art
ISLANDS a film by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin 1986, 57 minutes A film that further explores the artists' fusion of culture, environment and politics. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's fight for permission to surround eleven islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay with 6.5 million square feet of bright pink fabric, interwoven with their struggle to wrap the Pont-Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin.
"A wryly funny and ultimately beautiful film. Splendid."
- Bill Cosford, THE MIAMI HERALD
"Captures the shimmering tropical poetry of blossoms more epic than any painted by Monet."
- Manuela Hoelterhoff, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CHRISTO IN PARIS a film by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Deborah Dickson and Susan Froemke 1990, 58 minutes Winner of the Grand Prize at the Amsterdam Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, CHRISTO IN PARIS explores Christo's escape from Bulgaria, his early years as a struggling artist, his romance with Jeanne-Claude and the fulfillment of a ten-year obsession: the wrapping of the Pont-Neuf in Paris.
"Never did anyone look at the Pont Neuf as much as the day it was hidden... Christo teaches us to see."
- Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture
UMBRELLAS a film by Albert Maysles, Henry Corra, Grahame Weinbren 1995, 81 minutes East and West are brought together through the medium of art: 1,340 blue umbrellas are opened in a rice-farming valley in the Japanese province of Ibaraki, and 1,760 yellow umbrellas across a cluster of cattle ranches in the rolling hills of southern California. A beautiful journey filled with both triumph and tragedy.
"An ambitious documentary about an ambitious environmentalist art project. UMBRELLAS unfolds as an increasingly suspenseful drama."
- Howard Feinstein, VARIETY
- New video interview. Albert Maysles, Christo and Jeanne-Claude discuss their friendship, the films, and their ongoing collaboration as well as the upcoming Gates Project for New York City's Central Park.
- Feature commentary on all five films by Christo, Jeanne-Claude and Albert Maysles
82-page full-color booklet contains:
- An introduction by Albert Maysles
- An essay by film critic Charles Taylor
- a detailed history of the projects with exclusive photos, technical details, film stills and credits.
These films are presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio, preserving the ratio of their original theatrical exhibition.
In 1962, when Albert and David Maysles first met Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Paris, they immediately recognized kindred spirits. The Maysles Brothers, known for their pioneering works of non-fiction, draw from real human dramas, capturing life as it unfolds. Their films extend the boundaries of conventional documentaries. Likewise, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's large-scale temporary works of art have helped change our perceptions of art and society.
Maysles Films have captured Christo and Jeanne-Claude's enduring relationship and the grandeur of their creations, along with the political and social controversy that always seems to surround them. The environmental artworks are displayed for only a short period, therefore these films stand as a permanent document of the process, the political drama, the emotional investment and the transforming effect the finished works have on all those who come in contact with them.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check http://www.plexifilm.com
Five Films About Christo & Jeanne-Claude by The Maysles Brothers
Film is second in the Maysles' Christo trilogy.