Sometimes, the best thing a can director do is get out of the way of the main draw. For example, when two fantastic actors are engaging in a heartbreaking back and forth, don’t overlay it with flashy visuals that take the focus away from the passionate people spilling their guts onscreen. Director Daniel Traub knows this and lets the artist tell her story in her words in Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own.
For those unfamiliar, von Rydingsvard is a sculptor who primarily uses cedarwood to make big, and I mean big, impactful pieces. On occasion, she uses bronze or some other metal, though the molds for which come from a wood model. Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own covers her entire life, starting with her family in a displaced persons camp at the end of WWII. Then they immigrated to the United States, where her dad worked two jobs and was quite abusive towards Ursula and her siblings.
“…von Rydingsvard is a sculptor who primarily uses cedarwood to make big…impactful pieces.”
Ursula showed potential in the arts even from a young age, though it was not until her last year in college that she first worked with wood. She immediately fell in love and has used it as her primary artistic medium ever since. She would eventually move to NYC with her daughter, Ursie, and work on projects there. Of course, her work started to get noticed, and as her career gained traction, she would create more significant pieces that would be displayed the world over.
Traub interviews Ursula von Rydingsvard, her daughter, siblings, friends, contemporaries, and others associated with the art world to glean perspective on her life, the inspiration for her artistic endeavors, and her lasting legacy. It does so in the exact way you imagine – a talking-heads documentary.
"…the pure definition of getting out of the way of the main draw."