Watch Between the Folds


Series Length:1 Season, 1 Episode
Network: PBS

"Between the Folds" is a 2008 documentary that interviews a large number of different artists and scientists who have one thing in common: their dedication to the art of origami. It provides an overview of a number of different approaches, from mathematical to contemporary minimalist. It elevates origami as not only an art, but a set of design techniques that can have real world values.

The film talks about origami's transition from a simple craft to a fine art. This is demonstrated through archival footage of Akira Yoshizawa, the man considered solely responsible for this change. It provides a showcase of artists with a wide range of approaches and interests. The artist Paul Jackson is somewhat of a post-modernist origami creator. The approach he utilizes could be described as minimalistic: He only uses one fold to create very complex shapes. One interviewee is the only origami artist in the world to create the paper he uses to make origami. Others use origami to create realistic masks or stop-motion videos.

The organic and creative approach showcased by the artists is juxtaposed against the creations of a number of scientists and mathematicians. One interviewee is Erik Dermaine, a professor at MIT. He made the jump to origami because of his interest in computational geometry. The scientists interviewed in the program offer the possibility of origami design technology being used for practical engineering problems such as downsizing objects for space travel.

"Between the Folds" is written and directed by Vanessa Gould and hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal. The documentary was produced by Green Fuse Films. It has a run time of 56 minutes. "Between the Folds" is distributed by PBS and appears in their Independent Lens programming schedule.

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Between the Folds

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Between the Folds Full Episode Guide

  • Filmmaker Vanessa Gould takes you into the world of modern origami, where artists and scientists use the ancient art form to craft works of beauty and to model cutting-edge mathematical theories. Pushing the envelope of origami to include caricatured portraits and elaborate abstract designs, these experts examine how paper folding can reveal the profound connection between art, science and philosophy.

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