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This documentary on artist Anselm Kiefer doesn't probe its subject matter all that much, but his giant installations are truly wonders to behold....
Kino / 105 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: February 26, 2013
Director Sophie Fiennes celebrates the vision of artist Anselm Kiefer in her documentary Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, yet she definitely eschews any kind of inquiry or analysis of the man’s process or intent. This isn’t to say that the doc isn’t expressive and often quite moving in its representation of Kiefer’s vast artistic installations, but viewers hoping to get under the skin of our subject’s creative spirit will be left underwhelmed.
One can’t offer didactic assessment of the artistic process, of course, but somehow I felt like I wanted Fiennes to at least attempt this in her film. The experience that art provides is of course a crystalline activity, but from a certain point of view, a documentary about an artist and his styles is an opportunity to lift the lid on what goes into making such bizarrely wonderful artifacts, and the fact that Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow doesn’t do that leaves the movie feeling a bit hollow.
But Kiefer remains an elusive, altogether fascinating subject, and even if this unique documentary is more a round of applause than an extended interview, Fiennes nevertheless finds evocative ways to represent Kiefer’s installations on screen. One doesn’t leave Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow with any kind of established familiarity with Kiefer the person or artist, but his works come through gorgeously. The film will definitely make you want to research the guy and learn more about him.