Films

15-christo

Distribution and Rights:

Maysles Films, Inc.

Credits:

• Directors: David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Giffard [Hovde]
• Editor: Ellen Giffard [Hovde]
• Assistant Editor: Susan Froemke
• Associate Producer: Thomas Handloser
• Additional Photography: Edward Lachmann, Roger Brown, Bill Trautvetter

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Christo’s Valley Curtain

Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Giffard [Hovde], 1974, 28 min

Film Synopsis

Nominated for an Academy Award, CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN
celebrates the Bulgarian-born artist's dramatic
hanging of a huge orange curtain between two
Colorado mountains. Since the late 1950's,
Christo's large-scale temporary works of art have
helped change our perception of art and society.

CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN is the permanent record of a
project that rocked the artistic community and
turned skeptical iron-workers into astonished fans.
Conceived and financed by Christo and his wife
and partner Jeanne-Claude, this was no ordinary
curtain. Made of nine tons of orange nylon polymide
fabric, it stretched a full quarter-mile and was
suspended from four steel cables 365 feet above
Rifle Gap, Colorado (pop. 2,150). The workers who
hung the curtain across the valley discovered a
new form of art.

Reviews:

“Marvelous reportage. The surprise of the film
is the enthusiasm with which this project was greeted
by the residents of the town of Rifle and by the
construction workers who risked limbs and lives on
the stunt.”
–Vincent Canby, NEW YORK TIMES, March 15,1974

“By far the finest film I have seen about an artist and
his work. Technically brilliant, beautifully paced, with
not an image wasted or held too long, the film somehow
makes it possible for the viewer to become involved at
a deep and personal level with the whole mad, marvelous
epic. Valley Curtain is never didactic; it neither explains
nor describes, and this is its great strength. On its own
terms the film is as novel, as surprising, as hilarious, and
in the end as beautiful as the work of art with which it deals.
–Calvin Tomkins, the NEW YORKER

Accolades:

Academy Award Nominee (1974)

Blue Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival