Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
“Why is everything so political?” asks an exasperated Jeanne-Claude, the partner and, for all intents and purposes, manager of Christo, reacting to the many years and many conversations that have gone into accomplishing their project to wrap the historic Pont Neuf bridge in Paris in fabric. Initiated during the process of the Biscayne Bay Islands project and whose approval process ran concurrently, the beginnings of this one were covered in the Maysles’ television documentary Islands, which saw Christo and Jeanne-Claude surround the islands off the coast of Miami, Florida in shimmering pink fabric. The Maysles films about these artists always add something new to the familiar formula of planning, practical problems and successful execution with which they’re all told: their intimacy as they wander the City of Lovers making their plans for the bridge makes for the most romantic record of their work yet, with her questioning his choice of colour and design describing one of the many ways in which she is integral to his work as a first point of approval in his lengthy process. We also get a good deal of biographical information on the two of them and their relationship, which provides a soft cushion for the tough blow that will follow in the much more complicated Umbrellas to follow.