Three Art Makers
by Robert Gardner
color, 48 min, 2009
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Making marks, or causing them to be made as in the case of filmmakers, is what artists do. They see, imagine, hallucinate some shape, color or tone and then pick up their tools to render it in steel, light, copper or almost anything else. Here are three examples of what can happen. In addition to the three films, this special edition DVD is complimented by a 16 page full-color booklet containing photographs and personal reflections written by the filmmaker.
The Great Sail 10 minutes, 1966
Alexander Calder's La Grande Voile was erected on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in 1966 with the artist directing the work. As the spectacular steel forms of this monumental stabile rise, it is filmed with time lapse and verite photography. One can see that the structure owes its spare elegance to the precision of its design and construction. Calder remains absorbed in quiet concentration as skeptical students and bemused bystanders observe the somewhat improbable event. This film has never before been available on DVD.
Dancing with Miklos 28 minutes, 1993 - watch a preview
While watching prolific Hungarian filmmaker Miklos Jancso make his political thriller, The Blue Danube Waltz, Robert Gardner begins to film. Jancso's style seeps through to the documentarian's factual eye to create more than a behind-the-scenes exploration; it's an insightful, eloquent, and entertaining tribute from one filmmaker to another.
Good to Pull 10 minutes, 2000 - watch a preview
This short video is about a collaboration between the artist Michael Mazur and his master printer, Robert Townsend, as they work on a suite of etchings drawn from the celebrated monotypes Mazur made for Dante's Inferno. The monotypes were published in an earlier collaboration between Mazur and Robert Pinsky, the poet and translator. The etchings will become part of a remarkable history of similar undertakings by such other illustrators as Botticelli, Blake, Doré, Lebrun and Phillips. As seen in the literary magazine AGNI #68.
Visit Robert Gardner's personal website: www.robertgardner.net.