Thursday, December 7, 2023

Anselm (2023)

Wim Wender's returns to 3D film making with a look at artist Anselm Kiefer. More visual record and or essay then straight forward biographical documentary, the film is kind of like wandering through Kiefer's installations as he does the same thing.

I have spent several days trying to figure out what to say about the film. One part of the film is a cursory biography. Another part is staged version of him working on his early works, while at the same time we get to see him working on his current pieces. We go to his workshops which are like installations. We go through the books he has made. And we wander through the "museum" and surrounding lands he works out of. The through line is roughly his life as seen in his art.

It's a work of art about works of art.  How you react to the various pieces of art - and since Kiefer's work changes over time  your reaction will change over the course of the film. Mine did.

I'm not going to pretend to understand what much of the art is. My feelings are all over the place and hindered by not being certain about what some of it is or what exactly he is referencing. I'm going to have to go through the film again once I do some reading. 

And don't let that scare you- just go see the film and experience it with no preconceived ideas. let the art hit you in the face and make you react. I find this is always the best way to experience art since it produces a genuine reaction.

I'm going to be honest and say I don't know if the entire  film needed to be 3D. Yes much of the second half is improved by it since it gives us a sense of space, while some of the first half seems to have been filmed as it is simply because the later part was going to use it.

An addendum is when you see this make sure it's at a theater that knows how to project 3D and has a bright enough bulb. Even though the screening room I saw the film did have a bright enough bulb- the images still seemed a bit dim.

In the end I liked ANSELM, despite the fact I find it truly hard to express my feelings and thoughts since it is so subjective. I liked that it opened up my eyes to an artist I really didn't know about. 

Worth a look.

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