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Filming Christo projects: The Gates (Part 2)

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Filming Christo projects: The Gates (Part 1)
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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The most recent project we couldn't do because as with the other ones we were able to somehow finance the films- just as they financed the projects we would finance the films. And so without- without the financing we weren't able to make a film of the wrapping of the Reichstag- the original House of Parliament for Germany. There were people in Germany who made a film of it and I helped them out with some of the filming but unfortunately it's not one of our own- which, of course, brings us to the next project which we've been filming now for 25 years because it's taken that much time for the Christos to get the approval of the Mayor of New York. A film that takes place in Central Park, in some 7,500 gateways all over the park; each gateway over pathways of the park. So each one of these gateways is a very simple frame that's 16 or 18 feet high and 10 or, 10 or 12 feet wide according to the width of the pathway. And floating from the top is a beautiful saffron piece of fabric that comes down eight feet from the top. And because it's not tied, except at the top, it responds freely to the wind. When I think of the project I think of it as a rendering by these two artists, Christo and Jean-Claude- who is a kind of the producer, really- I think of it as an artwork gracing a piece of nature, just as a piece of nature might grace the park.

Albert Maysles (1926-2015) known for his important documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, pioneered the documentary style known as Direct Cinema. He helped create techniques still widely used in modern documentary production, as well as many of the techniques used in reality TV.

Listeners: Sara Maysles Tamara Tracz Rebekah Maysles

Sara Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is currently doing her BA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, and working as an Archivist of the photographs and photographic material at Maysles Films Inc., Albert‚s film production company. She spent ten months out of two years working with Tibetan refugees at a center in Nepal, and continues to travel back and forth between America and Asia.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Rebekah Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is an artist living between New York and Philadelphia. She has her own line of clothing, Blackberryrose, and co-runs the store Sodafine in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, a vintage and handmade store that sells clothing, books and other products made by artists.

Tags: Reichstag, Germany, New York, Central Park, Christo, Jeanne-Claude

Duration: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008