Georges Rousse and the 200 volunteers of the Durham Project
CONCEIVED AND DIRECTED BY
Kenny Dalsheimer and Penelope Maunsel
I see way too many films. How else can I explain my awareness that within this past year legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles has released a vastly superior yet similarly themed film to "Bending Space: Georges Rousse and the Durham Project."
Maysles' film, the Christo-centered "The Gate," is a magnificent and beautiful film that was years in the works. "Bending Space," on the other hand, feels more like a photographic essay than a cinematic venture.
This is not to say that "Bending Space" is a bad film. It is, in fact, a quite beautiful film that lovingly captures the joint efforts of Georges Rousse and the Durham community to create a magnificent work of art during Rousse's September 2006 art residency in Durham.
The problem isn't that "Bending Space" is a bad film, it's simply that Albert Maysles is the master and, quite simply, "The Gate" far outshines "Bending Space."
While co-directors Kenny Dalsheimer and Penelope Maunsel try to capture the genius of Rousse and the way it inspires the community of Durham, too often "Bending Space" seems content to show the process rather than the thought and feeling behind the process.
Beautiful to observe, but offering little substance as a companion, "Bending Space" is likely to only appeal to fans of Rousse and, of course, those in the community of Durham who were so inspired in 2006.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic