In the timeless tradition of "Winged Migration" and "Koyaanisqatsi," this theatrical phenomenon depicts the magical relationship between art and nature while painting a visually intoxicating portrait of famed artist Andy Goldsworthy. Gorgeously shot and masterfully edited, the film follows the bohemian free spirit Goldsworthy all over the world as he demonstrates and opens up about his unique creative process. From his long-winding rock walls and icicle sculptures to his interlocking leaf chains and multicolored pools of flowers, Goldsworthy's painstakingly intricate masterpieces are made entirely of materials found in Mother Nature - who threatens and often succeeds in destroying his art, sometimes before it is even finished.
With over ten four-star reviews from the nation's top critics, RIVERS AND TIDES serenely captures Goldsworthy in the midst of constructing his trademark ephemera on-camera creating a mesmerizing cinematic experience that helps us to appreciate nature in new and enchanting ways.
Seven Never-Before-Seen Short Films; Photo Gallery; Andy Goldsworthy Biography; Filmmaker Biography; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection
Catalog Number: MC-280
Genre: Art / Artist
Length: 90 mins + extras
DVD Region: 1
TV System: NTSC
Program MC-280 is available for wholesale from Microcinema DVD. Contact info[at]microcinema.com or call at +1-415-447-9750
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Films In Compilation
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time directed by
In the timeless tradition of "Winged Migration" and "Koyaanisqatsi," the theatrical phenomenon RIVERS AND TIDES depicts the magical relationship between art and nature while painting a visually intoxicating portrait of famed artist Andy Goldsworthy. Gorgeously shot and masterfully edited, the film follows the bohemian free spirit Goldsworthy all over the world as he demonstrates and opens up about his unique creative process. From his long-winding rock walls and icicle sculptures to his interlocking leaf chains and multicolored pools of flowers, Goldsworthy’s painstakingly intricate masterpieces are made entirely of materials found in Mother Nature — who threatens and often succeeds in destroying his art, sometimes before it is even finished.
With over ten four-star reviews from the nation’s top critics, RIVERS AND TIDES serenely captures Goldsworthy in the midst of constructing his trademark ephemera on-camera creating a mesmerizing cinematic experience that helps us to appreciate nature in new and enchanting ways.
2006-12-21Seattle Post-Intelligencer By William Arnold
Anyone in the market for some cinematic escapism from these troubled times might avoid this weekend's Hollywood fare and take a look at the new documentary, "Rivers and Tides." It's a truly balmy experience that puts you in a better place.
The film is a fascinating study of Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy, whose medium is nature. More specifically, he's a sculptor who uses various natural elements to make instinctive, mostly transitory sculptures in the wild.
As the film opens, we follow him to Nova Scotia, where he constructs an elaborate, igloolike structure out of driftwood, only to watch it disintegrate in the evening tide -- a moment that he finds the best part of the artistic experience.
In his rural Scottish retreat, a sculpture garden in upstate New York and a French village, we see him making rock walls, interlocking chains of leaves, symmetrical piles of field stones, icicle constructions, swirls of color in a muddy pond, mazes of fallen tree limbs.
Except for one clay wall, none of these sculptures is built to last, but that doesn't seem to bother him. But there's some permanence to what he does because he carefully photographs his creations. Indeed, he admits that photography may be his "true medium."
"Rivers and Tides" is not your standard nature documentary. Goldsworthy is less a man in Zenlike sync with nature than an artist struggling to get inside its rhythms and find a way to interpret them: a man in considerable inner turmoil.
He's also not a verbally expressive man, and since his comments about his work are all we hear in the film it can be slightly frustrating at times, and several obvious questions go unanswered. Such as, who gives him lavish commissions to do this kind of work and why?
But director Thomas Riedelsheimer and composer Fred Firth have otherwise crafted a mesmerizing and curiously satisfying idyll that gradually, slyly maneuvers us into a whole new way of looking at the delicate relationship between man, art and Mother Nature.
2006-12-21LA Times By Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
The singular mind of Andy Goldsworthy is at work in 'Rivers and Tides.'
When "Rivers and Tides" begins, it's not clear that its subject, British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, will be able to command our attention for 90 minutes. By the time it's over, however, we take our leave with reluctance, even sadness. It has been a kind of privilege to see the world through this man's eyes.
Goldsworthy is celebrated for creating art in the wild using whatever natural materials are at hand, stones and driftwood as well as leaves if it's summer and ice if it's winter. He puts enormous effort into making these pieces look effortless, as if they could have been on site all along.
Because his works are often delicate and always open to the elements, they frequently last a finite amount of time. "The thing that brings a work to life," the artist says, "will cause its death." For most people, these creations are known only through the photographs Goldsworthy takes and turns into popular gift books.
With his emphasis on being in harmony with the natural world, Goldsworthy is an ideal artist for today's urban audience eager for a connection to the wilds. Earnest and completely absorbed by his work, Goldsworthy can sound like a New Age tree-hugger when he rhapsodizes on the intangible energy running through a landscape.
But any doubts about the validity of what he's doing are removed by actually seeing the art in this film, both in process and in a finished form. While on the printed page Goldsworthy's works inevitably tend to flatten out and even appear gimmicky, experiencing them on the big screen -- closer to the way they exist in the landscape -- is to see them come alive in a particularly transfixing way.
There is, for instance, a driftwood igloo which Goldsworthy painstakingly creates at the ocean's edge in Nova Scotia. To watch the tide come in, remove it from its moorings and then gently push it toward collapse is a surprisingly magical experience.
The same is true as we watch Goldsworthy build one of his trademark large stone pine cones, a process that includes him grimacing in frustration as it collapses after considerable work. Seeing the finished product first covered and then uncovered by water as the tide goes in and out, as well as observing a similar structure as it weathers the changes of season at the artist's farm in Penpont, Scotland, is satisfying in an almost indescribable way.
Though we see Goldsworthy travel to several different locations to execute commissions, he quite definitely prefers to be at that farm, where he feels a mystical link to the land that he needs to function creatively. He jokes about being an intuitive artist, but that is really the case, as his projects appear to stem from an uncanny ability to commune with his materials.
German documentarian Thomas Riedelsheimer, who directed, photographed and edited "Rivers and Tides," spent more than a year with Goldsworthy, an intense commitment that has helped the film in a pair of complimentary ways.
For one thing, the artist clearly got so used to having Riedelsheimer around that he treats the filmmaker like a confidant, sharing articulate musings about the nature of his work that are candid and illuminating.
Riedelsheimer also got to experience Goldsworthy's works so intimately that he gained an instinctive knowledge of what the best camera angle for a given piece was and consequently was able to photograph everything with a clear and precise eye for beauty. Intoxicating and meditative by turns, helped by Fred Frith's minimalist score, this film opens a portal into a singular creative mind.
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