(2001)4Todd KristelWatching this slow-paced but fascinating film is like talking to an artist for a couple of hours while he's busy working on a project. Normally, this would be rather boring even if you appreciate his work. So, since someone bothered to make this type of film about Andy Goldsworthy, you might figure he's a lively, charismatic figure with a commanding speaking voice and endless supply of clever remarks. Well, he's not that kind of person at all -- he's soft-spoken and unpretentious, not effusive and larger than life -- yet the movie is interesting anyway if you're in a reflective mood. This is largely because of the nature of Goldsworthy's art, which is as much about the process of creation and destruction as the final product itself. Goldsworthy makes a living from still photographs of his pieces, but motion pictures are better suited to reproducing his work because they convey the element of time. His pieces are often meant to be ephemeral, so it's fitting to see how he builds them from nature and how nature eventually absorbs them back (in condensed time, of course). Viewers may find themselves sharing his elation or disappointment when he successfully finishes an ice sculpture or watches one of his precarious constructions fall apart before he manages to complete it. Also, writer/director/cinematographer/editor Thomas Riedelsheimer provides some incredibly beautiful images of Goldsworthy's creations, and Fred Frith's score effectively complements them. This isn't the kind of documentary to watch if you want a fast tempo and a lot of hard facts, and it doesn't answer the philosophical questions it raises about the nature of art, but it's mesmerizing to watch if you're feeling patient.