Between the Folds chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees--all to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paper-folders.
Remember those little colored squares of the thin Japanese paper from elementary school? Well this DVD unveils a world of origami which I never knew existed, and has nothing to do with the art class you remember from school. This isn't watching some old woman fold paper cranes, but people of all ages and shapes creating "sculptures" out of paper. The DVD does a great job of categorizing the different schools of thought in the world of origami, and gives you an insight into all of them. From the traditionalists to the rogues, and everything in between. Some create intricate and accurate living creatures, some are intricate and hard to grasp geometric inventions which also live and breath. There is even a segment about a man using only one fold to produce incredibly interesting creations. If you enjoy visual stimulation through art and exhibitions of intense skill, this documentary is for you.
I have been folding for about 6 years and enjoy engaging others in this activity. I had seen some snippets of the video but was pleasantly surprised when I got to watch the whole thing. I purchased the edition (from PBS) which allows for public performance and displayed it during the lunch period of a county schools' science teachers workshop. Everyone who stayed really liked it. The DVD presents the wide range of possibilities which origami provides: an art form which may extend to creating your own paper, a mathematical/physics challenge which benefits scientific fields like space travel, a mental exercise to develop spatial skills in students, etc. I have led origami folding projects with many people, from making paper doves to decorate a church in Nicaragua for a wedding, to a day's worth of middle school social studies classes using real origami paper to make a three-dimensional figure. I can't wait to use this video as a preface to next year's groups - whoever they are! Catherine Carr DeLand Florida
When this 55-minute documentary - which played on PBS - begins you are amazed at how intricate practitioners of Origami (Japanese art of paper folding) are. You see one single piece of paper (though it could be five feet in length) become a lizard or a violist or a beautiful multi-colored abstract sculpture. (They use special colored paper to create the latter). Origami requires that the artist use a single sheet, no cutting and no pasting. )> The word "Amazing" pops into your head. How o they do this? (Answer: hours and hors of folding and a mind that sees the result long before they start.) The high-definition quality of the original film and its DVD transfer will bring out these astoundingly beautiful images on practically any TV set.
But about half way through the film - when writer, producer and director Vanessa Gould has you mesmerized - we move from the artists to the "mathematicians" who use the paper folding to solve long time mathematical questions and teach students in elementary schools about math through origami. You'll meet the father and son geniuses (the younger becoming a professor at MIT at age 20!) that are using it to help scientists examinethe forms of human body cells and DNA. As the son says, "we may even, someday, find a cure for AIDS". Then there is the teacher who has integrated origami into the math curriculum in all the elementary schools in Israel and the results of test show that it improves the students' scores.
This film won many festival awards and deservedly so.
The DVD includes a collection of "deleted scenes" (my favorite is the genius son who says he does this only because it has to be fun) as well as a six-minute short film (also by Gould) about the Israeli school program.
Whether you appreciate art or science or just want to be fascinated for an hour, this is film that I can highly recommend!