EXCLUSIVE: In his new documentary Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang, Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald aims to bring the Sundance Film Festival a very up-close and international look at the explosive work of the superstar Chinese artist. Check out the exclusive clip we have of the Fisher Stevens, Wendi Murdoch and Hugo Shong produced pic premiering today in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
“I first got excited by the cinematic potential of Cai’s work – showing all these explosions and sculptures in smoke, in slow motion using drones and multiple cameras,” Macdonald told me about his return to the docu world. “But the great adventure for me was discovering that behind the spectacular surface there are so many roiling, unreconciled personal issues,” added The One Day In September and The Last King Of Scotland director. “Learning for instance of the horrors he experienced in the cultural revolution – when his intellectual father was forced to burn all of his books – made me look differently on the beautiful destruction of his work.”
With six screenings over this year’s Sundance, Sky Ladder is not the only project Macdonald is bringing to Park City this year. He is also the director of the JJ Abrams-produced and James Franco-starring 11.22.63 event series based on the time travel JFK assassination novel of the same name by Steven King. Set to debut on Hulu next month, the two-hour pilot of the limited series will premiere at Sundance on January 28.