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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art as Prophecy
This sensitively produced film is a compelling documentary of Anselm Kiefer's years at La Ribaute. He was there for nearly twenty years, employing a handful of men to build an eerie collection of tunnels, bridges, concrete towers, lead baths, lead warships and lead "bibles" all dripping with acid, and more nearly conventional art works. His principal legacy there is a set...
Published on 8 Aug. 2011 by N. E. M. Goulder

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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kiefer is great, the film is not!
Anselm Kiefer is a fascinating and unusual sculptor that more people might like to know, but unfortunately this documentary does not make it easy. Actually I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch it. The next time I took a solid power-nap before I started and managed to get through the entire 100 minutes with a mixture of fascination with Anselm Kiefer and mounting...
Published on 4 Aug. 2011 by Jesper Grolin


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art as Prophecy, 8 Aug. 2011
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N. E. M. Goulder (Saffron Walden, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This sensitively produced film is a compelling documentary of Anselm Kiefer's years at La Ribaute. He was there for nearly twenty years, employing a handful of men to build an eerie collection of tunnels, bridges, concrete towers, lead baths, lead warships and lead "bibles" all dripping with acid, and more nearly conventional art works. His principal legacy there is a set of stacks of concrete that deliberately totter and will in time collapse under the forces of nature, a chilling image of what the great metropolises of our lifetimes will look like in some post-capitalist era.
La Ribaute is not a convenient place to find on the map, still less one to visit, so Sophie Fiennes' meticulous film is a complete privilege to watch as the next best way to glimpse this extraordinary man's vision. She compiles her survey in four parts - a long chain of semi-stills, with the camera moving in one dimension, sometimes along and back, sometimes up and down, fundamentally content just to depict in good, mainly natural, light; then we see the extraordinary manner of working of this sui generis artist, a fascinating insight; thirdly a lengthy interview with Kiefer, conducted in German by a journalist who flounders out of his depth but Kiefer seamlessly supplies answers to questions that are not asked; then the closing phase lights up the title installations.
The film is intriguing, not least for the way in which time and again it hovers close to the holocaust questions that haunt Kiefer without [the film] ever having the courage to confront them. As a viewer one is left absolutely impressed with Kiefer's unique world (the logistics alone are bizarre - it took 110 lorries to transport the things Kiefer elected to take with him when he left La Ribaute, for example), humbled at the freedom with which his artistic vision scythes through issues and stretches the imagination outwards, and passionately interested to follow where it all may lead.
I went back and bought four copies for gifts to key friends. Anyone even a quarter interested in Kiefer should not hesitate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anselm Kiefer At La Ribaute, 6 Dec. 2014
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The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Between 1991-2008 the German artist Anselm Kiefer established a new home and
workplace, La Ribaute, near Barzac in Southern France. It is a huge site which he
transformed into an immersive environment whose studios and installation spaces,
both above and below ground, reflect the daring scope of his monumental visions.

Sophie Fiennes 2010 film is a powerful but elegiac piece which captures the
elusive and arcane nature of the spirit of her subject's art and working methods.

We see Kiefer and his hardy assistants grappling with the construction of some
enormous pieces whose inspiration seems drawn from the earth and sky of the
local landscape as much as from the artist's long engagement with the darker side of
his homeland's history and his evolving absorption with metaphysical, alchemical and
mythical themes. It is a privileged view of an extraordinarily complex creative process.

The camera moves slowly around this strange place like the eye of an inquisitive animal,
pausing occasionally to take in some small detail but the absence of a descriptive or
explanatory commentary requires that we use our own imagination and interpretive
capacity to try to make sense of what we see. However, a short interview between the
somewhat po-faced Klaus Dermutz and an animated Kiefer, firing on all six intellectual
cylinders, provides a partial and amusing insight into this idiosyncratic artist's inner World.

An intensely engaging and curiously affecting experience.

Highly Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Shot, 1 Jun. 2014
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Joey Donovan (Hackney, London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is a beautiful film. I'm not sure if it grants any insight into what Kiefer's work means but it is shot so beautifully that really doesn't matter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film. Life-changing, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Amazing film. Life-changing. Sophie Fiennes acts as the eyes through which we get a glimpse into Kiefer's world. Great price. English subtitles.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sensitive observation of a masterwork, 20 April 2011
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royden irvine (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is one of the few perceptive observations of a master artist at work. A rare DVD!
A timeless journey. A must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars all good., 15 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Kiefer's working methods. fascinating. all good.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kiefer is great, the film is not!, 4 Aug. 2011
By 
Jesper Grolin (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Anselm Kiefer is a fascinating and unusual sculptor that more people might like to know, but unfortunately this documentary does not make it easy. Actually I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch it. The next time I took a solid power-nap before I started and managed to get through the entire 100 minutes with a mixture of fascination with Anselm Kiefer and mounting irritation about the film itself which is unnecessarily long and unhelpful for a newcomer.

The film starts with exceedingly long and unexplained scenes of tunnels, sculptures and rooms - this is where I fell asleep the first time because it was totally unclear what we were seeing and how the different places related to each other. In the next section we follow Kiefer's fascinating process of work on a huge painting. Then comes an interview with Kiefer conducted by an unnamed person who seems so awestricken by meeting the master himself that he hardly dares utter his questions.

The answers given by Kiefer are very interesting and should have been used as voice-over explanations in the first section - it would have kept me awake! But we could have done without the interview in the library, which was only made worthwhile because it is finally interrupted by Kiefer's young son and his friend who are looking for something to play with in the background, and although the boys try to search quietly, Kiefer is distracted and visibly annoyed, and the interview ends abruptly. The documentary then goes through the same procedure again, unexplained scenes with sculptures, now in the open landscape, portrayal of the work process and interviews, which - this time, hurrah! - are integrated with the scenes of the work process.

In summary, the film is structured in an exceedingly cumbersome manner and moves at a lethargic pace. I am happy that I managed to watch it all because Kiefer is really a worthwhile and fascinating artist - but I did so despite the unhelpful structure of the film. So watch it, but be well-rested!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real insight!, 27 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A real insight into the world of this artist. Or so my partner said when I gave it to him as a present! he was amazed as he had never heard of it - but I wouldn'd tell him where I had found it! so simple - just search the author on good old Amazon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Very good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Excellent
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Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010]
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow [DVD] [2010] by Sophie Fiennes (DVD - 2011)
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