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Cannes 2010. Sophie Fiennes’s “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow”

Cannes 2010

Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian on Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow: "With infinite patience and care, and a sense of how the movie camera can both record and also participate in the process of making art, Sophie Fiennes has directed an intriguing documentary about the work of 65-year-old artist Anselm Kiefer, who in the early 1990s left his native Germany for Barjac in the south of France where he devised an extraordinary artistic living-space: an atelier, an installation complex, an entire created landscape."

"She focuses on about half a dozen works and shows the eye-opening processes in which he works wonders with concrete, cement, gravel, stone, metal and other coarse materials," writes Maggie Lee in the Hollywood Reporter. "The most visually exciting for art lovers is the creation of The Ardeche, during which he sprinkles gray powder (possibly ground from concrete) over a black and white painting of the forest before hoisting the giant painting up so the powder cascades like a rain of sand. Another sculpture display sees him bring in pane after pane of glass and smash them to smithereens as carpeting for the floor. The film concludes hauntingly with the piece de resistance — an imposing open air installation of towers piled from concrete slabs, inspired by the Biblical story of Lilith living among the ruins, and whose words became the film's title."


"The film opens and closes with slow and beautifully structured shots of the sprawling series of installations, making impressive use of stirring music from Jörg Widmann and György Ligeti," notes Mark Adams in Screen. "Sophie Fiennes, who has carved out an impressive niche in the arts documentary field (she has films on dance and linked with radical thinker Slavoj Zizek for 2006's The Pervert's Guide to Cinema), directs with a good deal of style, and is aided by beautiful widescreen cinematography from Remko Schnorr."

"Before I saw the film, I knew Kiefer was a great artist. After I saw it, I knew why." Bryan Appleyard has a long profile of Fiennes in the London Times.

Viewing (7'37"). Charlotte Higgins talks with Fiennes for the Guardian, and yes, there are clips; earlier, Higgins spoke with the director, "sister of actors Ralph and Joseph and director Martha," and the topic's in the headline: "British filmmakers lauded at Cannes forced to seek overseas backing."

More viewing (6'07"). Hub Culture's Sharon Swart interviews Fiennes in Cannes.


Site. Page at Cannes (Special Screening). Cannes 2010: Coverage of the coverage index.

I really, really want to see this film now. If this turns out as good as it is said to be, it could be one of the best films I’ve seen in 2010.

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