Between the Folds (2008) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Between the Folds (2008)

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Danny DISLIKEThere were a lot of things I expected from a documentary on origami.

Okay, maybe that's a lie. I didn't really expect much for a fifty minute look at folding paper; maybe a couple of impressive feats, some talking heads, some nice music and a couple of cheesy philosophies.


... do you buy that?

Vanessa Gould believes that. She wrote, produced, directed and narrated this documentary in a manner that best suggests an orgasmic deification of origami artists. Vanessa spends most of the film whispering in reverence as artists, engineers, and scientists express their joy in the medium.

Most of the subjects seem nice enough, but the more you delve into the artists who make up most of the film and their philosophies of the simplicity of paper, you'll soon find yourself wanting to go burn down an office supply store. I'veĀ  seen documentaries about the Holocaust told with less self-importance.

Through intrinsically annoying new agey music, the documentary recounts a brief history of origami (people fold paper), the present (people use computers to fold paper), and the practical applications of origami (airbags, satellites, theoretical physics, and machines that fold paper).

For something so heavily rooted in simplicity, it sure seems like a waste to have such an ungainly documentary to represent it. We have a wide cast of characters, at least, ranging from artists to engineers to a professor at MIT who has origami as his passion. And while some of the eccentrics they touch base with are interesting, there's usually too little of the interesting people and then too many assholes who try and dime store philosophize about the deeper meaning of the medium. You'll get people who aspire to Rochmaninov, which is all well and good, but narrator Gould compares one man to Picasso.

And the film is full of moments like this; it's not content to show you what the origami subculture is like (they apparently have conventions for god's sake), but it desperately demands you be in awe of these pressed wood pulp gods. That you are either an origami lover... or the enemy.

This is the type of documentary that makes people dread documentaries. Like the worst NPR show made for the saddest TV channel, Between the Folds less convinced me of the possibilities of origami and more of the idea that I'd wasted an hour of my life watching it.

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Between the Folds (2008)

This film is currently available on DVD and Netflix Instant.

Directed by Vanessa Gould
Narrated by Vanessa Gould

Posted by Danny

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