Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

2016 [CHINESE]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100% · 24 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.3/10 10 1647 1.6K

Top cast

Yimou Zhang as Self
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
732.35 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
Seeds ...
1.33 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
Seeds 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by samabc-31952 8 / 10

Compelling story about passion, experiences, hard work ...A great watch ..

"Playing with gun powder set me free" - Cai Gup-Qiang Who doesn't like fireworks? He witnessed the Chinese cultural revolution launched by the CCP leader Mao Zedong during his tween to his early teen years. He had known fireworks as 'good thing', a part of celebrations before the revolution but revolution changes his perception. He saw gunpowder being used to make explosives to kill people. His father was a famous calligrapher. Art runs into his blood. His work includes taxidermy, large sculptures but he is known for the oil paintings that are swapped with post-immolation markings. The calligraphy explosion. Putting gun powder onto his own oil paintings and then blowing them off. High levels of smog and 16,000 dead pigs floating in Huangpu river inspired him to work on what he called The Ninth Wave named after a Russian painting by the same name about the ninth disastrous destructive tsunami wave. His passion for fireworks and his artistic virtuosity gave birth to artistic explosions such as Transient Rainbow, Elegy (biodegradable colored clouds), Remembrance (Holi like colors sprays), Consolation (colored weeping willow like shape) fireworks. But his best work ever was a Sky Ladder, a ladder shaped strand of fireworks stretching upward for more than half a kilometer in the sky. This documentary shows the passion and planning, the story and experiences, the hard work and problems and the moment of the Sky Ladder. A great watch.

Reviewed by paul-allaer 8 / 10

Exquisite documentary with stunning visuals

As "Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang" (2016 release from the UK; 79 min.) opens, we are briefly introduced to Cai, as he reflects on his roots in China, where gunpowder (a/k/a "fire medicine") was invented over 1000 years ago. We then go to "Bath, England, 1994" where Cai tries to mount the sky ladder project, but fails... At this point we are 10 minutes into the documentary.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from Oscar-winning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald. Here he seems to have been given unfettered access to Chinese performance artist Cai Guo-Qiang, best known for his sophisticated fireworks displays (2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, anyone?) but as it turns out Cai is so much more than that. The documentary works great and the results are exquisite, with stunning visuals to boot. The harder questions are not avoided (such as when Cai does another fireworks show for the opening of APEC 2014 in Beijing, knowing fully well that his work is used for political propaganda purposes). And as for the sky ladder project: it reminds me in scope and ambition of the works by the recently departed Christo, who never saw a building he couldn't wrap. Bottom line: this is one amazing and thoroughly enjoyable documentary.

I missed "Sky Ladder" when it originally came out in 2016. Neflix just recommended it to me based on my viewing habits. Thanks Netflix! So glad I caught this. If you are in the mood for an entertaining documentary about the life and times of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, and containing some out of this world footage, I'd readily suggest you check this out and draw your own conclusion.

Reviewed by pammia-637-152524 9 / 10

Amazing Documentary and a HIDDEN GEM

Why am I crying for a fireworks display? This film is such a masterpiece of the life and experiences of a MASTER artist. As a viewer that truly enjoys art and fireworks I learned today that it is an art form that can be truly appreciated beyond all the WOWS and APPLAUSES. He shared his upbring, the mindset of his ancestors, the political climate he was acclimated, his loyalty to his home country balanced by his love of art and his family (loved the grandmother). This name Cai Guo-Qiang should be as famous as PICASSO but the reality of the political and social context we live in prevents this. He is brave, loyal, and an asset to the art world. Never enjoyed a documentary as much as this one. What a blessing he has moved to the US and his passion is so heartfelt it can't be denied.

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