The MFA Film Program is delighted to bring back the HBO documentary The Gates, by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing, for a 10-show engagement September 11-30. In February, 2005, Christo and Jeanne-Claude mounted one of the largest public art installations in Central Park, New York City. The husband and wife team are known for their dozens of high concept, high profile works of landscape art in numerous urban and rural locations around the globe. This documentary film chronicles the artists’ 26-year commitment to transform the winter darkness of the park into a garden of light and color with their most ambitious work of art The Gates, Central Park, New York City 1979-2005. As they did for previous projects such as Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin 1971-95, The Running Fence Marin and Sonoma Counties, California 1972-76; and The Pont Neuf Wrapped Paris 1975-85; as well as The Umbrellas, Japan-U.S.A 1984-91, The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 was financed by the artists through the sale of preparatory studies, drawings, collages and scale models, plus sales of earlier works of the 50s and 60s.

In a career spanning a half century, Albert Maysles has filmed many of the people and events that shaped our times: John Kennedy on the campaign trail, Castro’s Cuba in the aftermath of the revolution, The Beatles arrival in America, Truman Capote at the height of his literary fame, The Rolling Stones at Altamont. Together with his brother David Maysles (1931-1987), he was a key figure in the ‘direct cinema’ movement whereby a two person crew (using handheld, lightweight, sound and film equipment) could essentially function as a self-contained movie studio capturing life ‘as it happens.’ As progenitors of the modern documentary movement, The Maysles Brothers unique sensibility revealed to audiences the crippling effects of poverty in the American South in The Burks of Georgia (1974) and Lalee’s Kin (2000), the baroque mystery of the mother and daughter relationship of ‘Big’ Edie and ‘Little’ Edie’ Beale in the cult masterpiece Grey Gardens (1976) and the underside of the American Dream in their landmark documentary Salesman (1968) selected by The Library of Congress in 2000 as one of the most important and influential American films ever made.

A native of Schenectady, NY Antonio Ferrera has been Albert Maysles’ main collaborator since 1998. Before working with Maysles, Ferrara co-directed and shot Voices of Cabrini, which follows the re-development of Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing project and the ensuing effects of displacement on the African-American community as people are uprooted from their homes and community. Ferrera created the short film for Bill Moyers Now, entitled Before I Leave, a ten-minute human monologue and meditation on remembrance, memory, and death. Other films of note include It’s an Adventure, a documentary about director Wes Anderson and Masada capturing acclaimed multi-instrumentalist John Zorn in concert.

Tickets: Members, seniors and students $8; general admission $10. Discount matinee prices (weekday until 5 pm; weekends until 12:30 pm) are $6, $7. To purchase please call the box office at 617-369-3306 or online at

The Gates
Thurs., Sept. 11 8:00 pm
Sat. Sept 13 10:30 am
Thurs., Sept 18 2:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 20 10:30 am
Sun. Sept 21 2:00 pm
Fri., Sept 26 3:00 pm
Fri. Oct. 3 2:30 pm
Sun. Oct 12 10:30 am
Sat. Oct. 18 10:30 am
Thurs. Oct. 30 2:15 pm

The Gates by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Matthew Prinzing. (2007, 98 min.). In 1979, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude proposed one of the largest public art installations in history: a «golden river» of 7,503 fabric-paneled gates in Central Park. Trans


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