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5 Films About Christo and Jeanne-Claude - A Maysles Films Production

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christo, Jeanne-Claude, Willy Brandt, Jacques Chirac, Michel Debré
  • Directors: Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, David Maysles, Deborah Dickson, Ellen Giffard
  • Producers: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Deborah Dickson, Henry Corra, Susan Froemke
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 282 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001OGUWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,922 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "5 Films About Christo and Jeanne-Claude - A Maysles Films Production" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disc One:
  • Christo's Valley Curtain (1974)
  • Running Fence (1978)
  • Disc Two:
  • Islands (1986)
  • Christo in Paris (1990)
  • Disc Three:
  • Umbrellas (1995)
  • Interview with Albert Maysles, Christo and Jeanne-Claude (2004)
  • Audio Commentary on all Five Films with Albert Maysles, Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Five Films about Christo and Jeanne-Claude chronicles a 30-year collaboration between acclaimed documentary filmmakers Albert and 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. The series of award-winning films 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.

As David Maysles said, "Christo comes up with an idea that at first seems impossible, then lets it grow; so do we." Albert Maysles agrees: "Both Christo's projects and our films are outrageous acts of faith."

After you've seen 5 Films About Christo & Jeanne-Claude, your appreciation for art and artists will be permanently enlightened. Spanning three decades of unique collaboration between controversial public-art creator Christo, his creative partner and wife Jeanne-Claude, and cinema verité pioneers David and Albert Maysles (Salesman, Grey Gardens, and many other award-winning films), this DVD set of five captivating, unscripted documentaries is a living chronicle of art as a public challenge, inviting the viewer to witness the creation and installation of temporary artworks that triumphantly illustrate (as noted by essayist Charles Taylor) "the collision between art and everyday life." Whether they are raising a massive "Valley Curtain" of vibrant orange nylon across a Colorado mountain range; a 24-mile "Running Fence" in Northern California; surrounding islands in Florida with gigantic rings of hot-pink fabric; or simultaneously erecting a total of 3,100 huge umbrellas across rolling landscapes in Japan and California, the Christos (who self-finance all of their expensive installations) are both deliriously self-indulgent and open-heartedly generous about their work and the impressive engineering that goes into creating it.

For these and other time-consuming but fleetingly visible endowments of beauty on an epic scale, the Maysles were there with camera and microphone, capturing the impact, controversy, humor, and ultimate glory of Christo's wondrous vision. Accompanied by an engaging 2004 interview between Christo, Jeanne-Claude, and Albert Maysles (David died in 1987), and an 80-page booklet including Taylor's excellent essay and detailed statistics on each of the featured projects, 5 Films is a timeless testament to Christo's assertion that "all of our art is about freedom." It comes as no surprise, then, that the experience of viewing these inspiring films is so joyously liberating. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kendall H. Gelner on June 4, 2006
Verified Purchase
I was at the Gates in New York, and based on that great experience I viewed a few of these DVD's as rentals.

I have only seen the Valley Curtain and Running Fence films, but based on that I am ordering the set to keep. The films themselves of course are a little dated and not perfect transfers by any means, as they are older films made with older equipment and not a lot of effort was made to improve the video quality over the original material. But the original film work itself is very well done (even in sometime very challenging conditions) and the director did a great job capturing the essence of what it is to put up these projects that operate on such a large scale. The Running Fence one was especially good in this regard as it covered a number of public hearings and talks with the ranchers involved well before any construction showing people arguing against the projects.

However that is not the best part of these films. The best part is the commentary tracks which seem to have all been done in 2004 (sometime just before the Gates opened), and include Jeanne-Claude, Christo, and the film maker himself. All of them are very interesting and have a lot to say throughout the film, including a lot of information you'll not get from the films alone. As these were all pretty recent commentaries it also allows for much more interesting perspective in commentary as they can compare some aspects of these older works to more recent ones.

For anyone interested in the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this is a must-watch set of films and will give you great insights into their thought process.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Cameron on May 23, 2010
If you are fans of Christo and the late Jeanne Claude you will love these films. But as interesting as the films are on their own, they truly come to life when you listen to these great, great artists on the commentary tracks.

The commentary tracks are a perfect companion to the ephemeral, massive, wonderful works themselves.
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Verified Purchase
I bought this mainly to get the Running Fence, because I never saw it live. I now live nearby and have figured out where it was.
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