It was Wim Wenders not Anselm Kiefer that drew me to watch the documentary Anselm. I knew next to nothing about his work and, if I had known, probably wouldn’t have been that big a fan. But Wenders’ uses the camera to get inside Anselm’s work and make you experience it. Even the paintings seem, somehow, to provide Wenders with a three-dimensional portal into the artist’s world. Anselm’s work spans whole territories of modern art – from conceptual crap, to weirdly personal installations functioning more as stand-ins for therapy than attempts at art, to some quite remarkable and striking paintings. Wenders explores it all in a slow, dream-like, state filled with long tracking shots and Anselm navigating, contemplating, adjusting, making, and – very occasionally – talking about his work. It’s what museum retrospectives stive to be but rarely achieve. (Criterion…of course)

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