The very thing that brings the work to life is the thing that will cause its death,” says Andy Goldsworthy, arguably the art world’s most sought-after landscape architect — and a growing cult favorite whose strange creations achieve a Zen mastery in their undisturbed solitude. German filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer follows the soft-spoken artist as he painstakingly molds nature’s tools (stones, leaves, icicles) into eye-popping installations that may or may not survive by the time he finishes. (In one agonizing scene, an intricate web of hanging sticks collapses on Goldsworthy just as he finishes arranging them, and his troubled reaction clearly communicates the heartbreak of his calling.) Rivers and Tides unfolds laconically, humming along to a soundtrack of chirping birds and ominous, Nova-esque instrumentals. But this is no grainy strip reel — Goldsworthy is a marvel, with his unflinching dedication to creating art that’s at once ephemeral and eternal.
EXTRAS Seven never-seen short films are mere asides to the far superior feature.