From "wrapping" the Berlin Reichstag to transforming South Seas islands into massive pink water lilies to hanging drapes between the Colorado mountains, Christo qualifies as one of the most dynamic, innovative, and ambitious conceptual artists in modern history. Documentarians Albert and David Maysles
have a long-running professional association with Christo (having co-directed such pictures as Christo's Valley Curtain
and Christo's Islands
); now, with their film The Gates
, Albert Maysles
and co-director Antonio Ferrera
cover Christo and wife Jeanne-Claude's 26-year project to create a "golden river" of 7,500 fabric-paneled "gates" running through Central Park in February 2005. The endeavor began in 1979, but didn't overcome the necessary bureaucratic hurdles for 26 years, and only received a final go-ahead with a green light from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
. The film reveals how Christo and Jeanne-Claude's 21-million-dollar project transforms the environment from one of winter bleakness to one of brisk, vibrant, and spring-like colors. David Maysles (brother of Albert), who died in 1987, is credited posthumously on this 2007 film for a sequence that the siblings co-directed in 1979.