TrustMovies should think that PORTRAIT OF A GARDEN will be a "must." Even for someone like me, who hasn't tended a garden since around age eight, the movie proved captivating. It is certainly one of the most beautiful visual and philosophical looks at the productive collaboration between man and nature to find its way onto film.
Rosie Stapel, shown at left, is a relative newcomer to the documentary field, though she has worked in art departments, on production design and as an art director for nearly two decades. Though this is her first film, as director, producer, cinematographer and editor, she has very skillfully woven together visuals, conversations and ideas into a tapestry that takes us through a full year in the garden, beginning in January, 2013. Winter has set in, yet there is, as always, plenty to do, and her film's two protagonists, who, we see constantly at work -- Jan Freriks, the 85-year-old pruning master (shown below, left), and Daan van der Have (below, right), the estate's owner and gardener -- must get that job done.
A Little Chaos, directed, co-written by and starring the late Alan Rickman, and not only because some of the vegetation here is descended from cuttings from the palace garden of King Louis XIV, but many of the rules of pruning used in this garden date back to that time period, as well.
Grasshopper Film, in Dutch with English subtitles, Portrait of a Garden opens this Wednesday, October 26, in its theatrical premiere for a one-week-only run at New York City's Film Forum. It will then play The Screen in Santa Fe on November 18, Time & Space Limited in Hudson, New York, on November 27, and then the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, come February 5, 2017. Click here (then click on Where to Watch) as the weeks go by to see if further playdates/cities have been added.