Rivers and Tides

Rivers and Tides

Elegant documentary about Scottish environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, whose sculptures are produced entirely from - and using - materials he finds in the natural surroundings of wherever he decides to work, be it a riverbank, a grassy field, or a seashore. Watching Goldsworthy at work is a little like watching somebody build a house of cards - only with leaves, flowers, rocks, branches, and whatever else he finds around.

The film is slow-moving, meditative in the way that watching a shadow climb a wall or the tide coming in is meditative, but Goldsworthy's art, painstakingly and obsessively made, can be so stunningly beautiful that the results make for some breathtaking visuals. For fans of the artist, the film is a must, as a rare occasion to see Goldsworthy's work as it was meant to be seen - in motion, in the wild, as opposed to still photos or in a museum (which are usually the only way most of us will ever see it).

Thankfully, director Riedelsheimer keeps his film focused on Goldsworthy as an artist. We are given almost no biographical information about him, his is the only voice we hear, and he never waxes philosophical about how we can save Mother Earth. Goldsworthy talks only about his art. And like that art, the film's soundtrack by Fred Frith borders on the New-Agey but never crosses over. You may see a lot of long-hairs in the audience, but this film is for everybody.