Monday, July 11, 2011
Antoni Gaudi: The Movie
Antoni Gaudi is described by some as the greatest Spanish architect to have ever lived. Gaudi was born in Catalonia in 1852. He studied architecture at the University of Barcelona but attended more lectures on philosophy than architecture. Barcelona was ground zero for most of his works. The movie Antonio Gaudi - (The Criterion Collection), presents Gaudi's work through a series of montages detailing his major works such as Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila. The movie is directed by Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara and contains almost no narration. Instead, the film relies on music by Toru Takemitsu who provides an avant-garde angle on the architecture of Gaudi.
Here are some points to consider when viewing the movie. The Japanese avant-garde music might not be for everyone. Let me clarify that statement and suggest that the music might not be for anyone currently living on this planet. Instead, my cousin Rodrigo suggests to mute the movie score and play Pink Floyd's "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" or Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits. The movie is beautifully shot although some of the scenes appear to be under lit. Gaudi was a devout Catholic and devoted the later part of his life to designing and building the Sagrada Familia. What is interesting to note is that his secular projects are much more colorful, vibrant, and awe inspiring.
The Park Guell filled with it's fantastic animal mosaics is much more appealing in some ways than the sombre Church of Colonia Guell. Some of the shots of the church in the movie appear to be that of a medieval dungeon, not exactly a cozy place to hang out. The movie is definitely not your typical documentary and if you know nothing about Gaudi then this might be the wrong place to start. However, if you have a great space jam album and a tumbler of Kentucky's finest, you might enjoy yourself. Bottoms up!