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Sarasota 2009 | Preview: Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude On Film

Sarasota 2009 | Preview: Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude On Film

I often get asked how programming gets done, how choices are made, what inspires us to showcase certain films and ideas in certain years. This year’s Sarasota Film Festival retrospective Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude On Film is a great example of how the process often works. This past December, I attended the International Film Festival Summit in Las Vegas and sat on a panel with the esteemed Richard Lorber. Afterward, as we all gathered for dinner, a few of my colleagues and I sat with Richard and discussed some of his company’s upcoming plans, which included the launch of his Alive Mind label and that label’s acquisition of Albert and David Maysles and Antonio Ferrera’s film The Gates. As a fan of the films about Christo and Jeanne-Claude, I talked with Richard about how we might try to do something special and put a retrospective together. Richard put me in touch with Antonio Ferrera, who loved the idea, and Antonio put me in touch with Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s office. They also liked the idea. Voila! A program is born.

This year, The Sarasota Film Festival is presenting a complete retrospective of the films documenting the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, beginning with Michael Blackwood’s Wrapped Coast (1969) through to the World Premiere of Wolfram Hissen’s work in progress Along U.S. 50 (2009), which documents the ongoing work to complete the Over The River project on the Arkansas River in Colorado.

Over The River,
Project For Arkansas River, State of Colorado

Drawing 2007, In two parts:
38 x 244cm and 106,6 x 244cm (15 x 96″ and 42″ x 96″)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, fabric sample,
hand-drawn technical data and topographic map and tape.
Photo: Wolfgang Volz ©2007 Christo. Ref. 60

In addition to our screenings, the festival is hosting an event called In Conversation with Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Saturday, April 4 at 1:00 PM at The Historic Asolo Theater. This event promises to be very interesting, as the artists have requested it be an unmoderated, direct dialogue between themselves and the audience. I am excited to see where this leads and how the audience will engage this amazing opportunity. I have to say, having recently watched these films again, I really do admire Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work; the hurdles these two have conquered to have their projects realized makes the pieces even more amazing. You can’t help but be moved.


Umbrellas, Saturday, March 28th, 3:15 PM
Running Fence playing with Christo’s Valley Curtain, Sunday, March 29th, 1:00 PM
Christo & Jeanne Claude, Monday, March 30th 7:00 pm, Historic Asolo Theater (Michael Blackwood in Attendance)
Islands playing with Wrapped Coast, Tuesday, March 31st 6:30 PM (Michael Blackwood in Attendance)
Christo In Paris playing with Wrapped Walkways, Wednesday, April 1st, 3:00 PM
Dem Deutsche Volke: Wrapped Reichstag 1971-1995 Thursday, April 2nd 4:00 PM (Wolfram Hissen in Attendance)
Along US 50 (World Premiere) playing with Wrapped Trees, Friday, April 3rd at 5:00 pm (Wolfram Hissen in Attendance)
The Gates, Friday, April 3rd, 7:30 PM, (Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Antonio Ferrera in Attendance)
In Conversation with Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Saturday, April 4 at 1:00 PM, Historic Asolo Theater (Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Attendance)

Jeanne-Claude and Christo

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