Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How to Make a Book with Steidl

The Steidl in the title is actually the book company, but since they never really introduce the 'lead', he gets that name in my head. (He is Gerhard Steidl, so it still works.)

This is a documentary about book maker Steidl, and the exacting standards he puts in when creating each book. We visit with him to various artists and discuss their needs and he's certainly forthright about putting forward his own opinion (some times in 'earthy' words, as one might put it). And so he also gets to hobnob with the big names, and seems to fly first class a lot.

This is by the make director who did El Bulli, so once I was told that, I knew what sort of film to expect. And as with that one, this is people going about their business, not talking to camera, not introducing anything... and not really getting much of a sense of narrative either. At best, we see a few projects from mid-point to some form of completion, but most times it's just a slice. (And in one shot, he's talking to Alan Tudyk! - At least, I think it was him.) And speaking of people who look like other people, I spent most of my time wondering who Steidl reminded me of. Any help? [EDIT: Got it! John Billingsley!]

So, a decent documentary, and I'm glad I saw it.


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