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Our City Dreams

Nancy Spero , Marina Abramovic , Chiara Clemente  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nancy Spero, Marina Abramovic, Kiki Smith, Ghada Amer, Swoon
  • Directors: Chiara Clemente
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001VEC88Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,244 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Our City Dreams" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This "lyrical documentary about the intersection of location and imagination" (New York Times) is an invitation to visit the creative spaces of five women artists, each of whom possesses her own energy, drive and passion. These artists, who span different decades and represent diverse cultures, have one thing in common beyond making art: the city to which they have journeyed and now call home-- New York.

The artists profiled are Nancy Spero, who was at the forefront of the feminist movement of the late 50s and 60s and whose work continues to question the polemics of sexual identity and warfare; Marina Abramovic, a pioneer of performance art who uses her own body as a canvas to respond deeply to contemporary cultural issues; Kiki Smith, who addresses philosophical, social and spiritual aspects of the human body through work that incorporates glass, plaster, ceramic, bronze and paper; Ghada Amer, who paints erotic canvases in traditional needle and thread and who refuses to bow to the puritanical elements of Western and Islamic culture and "institutionalized feminism"; and Swoon, one of New York's most promising emerging artists, whose arresting and fugitive street art transmits the pulse of urban life. Director Chiara Clemente combines an intimate style of documentary filmmaking with the ephemera of city life surrounding each woman and the work she creates.

The documented year held many triumphs and challenges for each of the participating artists, and the audience will catch a glimpse into the processes of creation and inspiration. Chiara Clemente has captured many moments in these artists's lives, including Swoon's first solo exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York, Ghada Amer's return to her Egyptian homeland, Kiki Smith's traveling retrospective, Marina Abramovic's weeklong series of performances at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Nancy Spero's preparations of a new piece for the 2007 Venice Biennale. Stylistically, the film will have the feeling of a textured collage that will be the culmination of the director's collaboration with the artist. Ultimately, Our City Dreams intends to bring a unique cultural and artistic experience to viewers and provide a testimony to the need to preserve great art and artists.

Review

Not only a first-rate portrait of great artists but also an impressive look at the way they interact with the city that feeds their work. --New York Magazine

Filled with gorgeous shots of New York and from-the-heart discussions of artistry and inspiration, this wide-ranging appreciation is a glimpse into the artistic process. --New York Daily News

A thoughtful, revealing look at creative lives and the forces that shaped them. --Time Out New York

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(3)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary! May 30, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Watching this excellent documentary showing these wonderful artist's ways of thinking, their creative processes, their commitment to art, and how living in New York is special for them, was great! I have watched the film over 3 times already and each time I find something else to discover in it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars only fair-to-middling documentary October 25, 2009
Format:DVD
**1/2

The documentary "Our City Dreams" profiles five visual and performance artists - Swoon, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic and Nancy Spero - who have their homes and studios in New York City. Each of them comes from a different part of the world and each is at a different stage of her career and life. Director Chiara Clemente spends not much more than a few moments with each of the women as they dabble in their work and chat about their backgrounds, the struggles they've had to overcome as women artists, and their individual views on art.

"Our City Dreams" is probably of greatest interest to those who already have a degree of familiarity with some or all of the movie's subjects. For the run-of-the-mill disinterested observer, on the other hand, the movie will likely hold far less fascination. The problem may lie in the overreaching nature of the film which doesn't allow us to get to know as much about these women as we would if the film featured only one or two of them, say, instead of all five. Individually, they certainly seem like lovely people but they tend to subtract from - rather than add to - one another when lumped together as a group. That's not to say that there aren't some lyrical and poignant moments woven throughout the film; it's just that we don't feel we learn all that much about their art - or the influences on their art - in the short time we get to spend with them. In fact, the movie doesn't even really explore how New York City itself inspired or informed much of their output as artists, which is, we presume, the intended purpose and goal of the film.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dreams October 12, 2009
Format:DVD
Length: 2:32 Mins
An amazing film, keeps you involved from start to finish.
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