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Reviews for August 10th, 2011

The Help

Directed by Tate Taylor

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Opens nationwide.
Released by Walt Disney Pictures.

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Directed by Sophie Fiennes

      This sluggishly-paced, often boring documentary focuses on the artwork of Anselm Kiefer, a 65-year-old German artist who moved to Barjac, France where he bought a derelict silk factory before turning it into a location for his artwork. As you’ll be able to observe within the first 30 minutes sans dialogue, Anselm’s work includes everything from paintings to tunnels and sculptures.

      If watching Anselm and his assistants breaking long panes of glass or pouring cement floats your boat then perhaps you’ll be fascinated by Over Cities Your Grass Will Grow. If, however, you’re interested in learning more about the artist himself, you’ll find yourself frustratingly bored as you wait for some insights that eventually arrive for roughly 10 minutes during an interview with Anselm and a journalist---although by then it’s too little, too late. Anselm does seem articulate and intelligent as he answers questions about beauty and comments about how and why it’s important to experience boredom as an adult. He also explains the meaning of the bits light that stream into his dark tunnel artworks. By the end of the documentary, director Sophie Fiennes still hasn’t answered the most crucial question that every documentary ought to answer: “So what?” Merely showing Anselm’s artworks over 75% of the running time either at their final stage or being constructed doesn’t do the artist justice because it comes across as lazy, facile and tedious instead of enlightening or captivating had there been more interviews or some other means of providing insight.

Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Opens at the Film Forum.
Released by Alive Mind Cinema.

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