Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ashes and Snow

I had the privilege of visiting Gregory Colbert's Parisian studio this weekend and fell in love with his magnificent, oversize, sepia images of people and children interacting, sitting, dancing, or swimming with Asian elephants, eagles, manatees, cheetahs, whales and more.  I had seen his 2005 exhibit, "Ashes and Snow", in New York City and still have one of its posters hanging above my bed.  I wanted to watch the film of the same name in its entirety and was spellbound.

For those who are not familiar with Gregory Colbert, he is a Canadian born photographer and film-maker, who traveled on expeditions to India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and many more to document the incredible interactions between humans and animals.  He exposes his work only in immense "nomadic" structures.  Ashes and Snow attracted over 10 million visitors in NYC, Santa Monica, Tokyo and Mexico City, making it the most attended exhibition by a living artist in history. Colbert's Nomadic Museum continues its global journey indefinitely and has no final destination. 

The movie, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, is stunning to say the very least.  It is angelic, gentle and mesmerizing.  Mostly silent, a simple, enchanting music plays in the background.  From time to time a poem is read, telling the fictional tale of a husband writing 365 letters to his wife.  The poems themselves are wonderful and divine, perfectly fitting into this symphony of sights and sounds and of absolute harmony between living beings.  There are scenes of utmost beauty and precision that sent me into a dream-like state.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in art, photography or cinematography or simply to anybody who loves animals and wants to see something truly beautiful and unique.  It can also be left on in the background and be watched over and over again for the striking, almost sacred allure of its images.

Gregory's next appointment is with the penguins and icebergs of Antarctica and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us.

My rating: 8.5
Fabio's: 6
Total score: 14.5

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