Synopsis

Hiroshi Teshigahara's camera takes us over, under, around, and into buildings and a park designed by Antonio Gaudí (1852 - 1926), Catalan architect, ceramist, and sculptor. Teshigahara suggests the influence of Romanesque churches and monasteries on Gaudí and the influence of the caves and crags of Montserrat, close to Barcelona. Every line of Gaudí's seems curved, and no surface is without textures. With little narration, the film takes us through Casa Vicens, projects for the industrialist Güell (including the Crypt of the Colònia Güell and Park Güell), Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and Barcelona's landmark, the unfinished Templo de La Sagrada Familia.

Director

Hiroshi Teshigahara

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by superfly-13 N/A

another world

A magical, one-of-a-kind movie--a near-wordless 1984 tribute by the late Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara to the 19th-century Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, whose ingenious, sensual designs grace the city of Barcelona. To call Gaudi's designs unique is to belittle them: His buildings borrow organic shapes from nature--the whorl of a seashell, the gnarled rigidity of a tree trunk--to create free-flowing forms of almost surreal beauty. Teshigahara's camera prowls the streets of Barcelona seeking the buildings, then lavishing attention on their alien curves, vaulted ceilings, and bizarre portals. The movie sounds dry, but the buildings are so fanciful and voluptuous that you can scarcely believe your eyes: They erupt from the city like weeds through a sidewalk, and their entropic strangeness becomes hypnotic. The director delights in watching people interact with these forms, as when a little girl roller-skates placidly through a forest of vertical columns. In his WOMAN IN THE DUNES, Teshigahara made moonscapes of sand and glistening crystals, immersing us in their texture; here he shows a similar fascination with everyday forms made shockingly unfamiliar. And his frequent collaborator, the great composer Toru Takemitsu, fashioned Catalan folk tunes into a haunting score that's at once ancient and futuristic, just like Gaudi's designs. A must-see for architects, for anyone intrigued by the possibilities of public art--and for anyone who wants to be transported to another world for an hour.

Reviewed by Mixxy_Mona 10 /10

Literally left me speechless!

When I go to thrift stores and buy a bunch of obscure VHSs this is exactly the kind of gem I am hoping to find, particularly since I may not find it any other way. Antonio Gaudi is an artist who I was familiar with and enjoyed before finding this but had not extensively studied. Now I feel like I understand the life and work of the artist whose name gave birth to the adjective meaning ornate and over-the-top. This film is a gorgeous and mind blowing gallery of videos and stills taken of the interiors and exteriors of the Spanish architect's incredible and pioneering buildings as well as sketches, blueprints and some history of Spanish architecture. There are some brief segments of scholars talking about the artist, but mostly it is silent film backed by haunting and unique soundscapes that I felt truly enhanced the visuals. The films main focus (Gaudi and his work) is truly deserving of such a deep and quiet examination, and the buildings are still incredibly ahead of their time, each one a timeless work of art that could be explored for days or years. Simply put, this was the most breathtaking film I have watched in recent memory and highly recommend for lovers of art and experimental films, art nouveau, medieval architecture, and Wendy Carlos-esqe musical scores. Before it was even halfway through it was already in my list of favorite films!

Reviewed by alanpayne 10 /10

Gaudi was ahead of his time.

Though an actor and musician by trade, I have been an architecture enthusiast my entire life. I suppose Antonio Gaudi's style would be lumped into the category of "whimsical" by architectural scholars, but for a man to have had the imagination to design such magnificent buildings a century ago is to me a sign of sheer genius.

Until seeing TCM's airing of this film I'd only seen photos of the Cathedral of the Holy Family. The beautifully photographed walking tour through so many of his designs was a visual feast and the absence of speech was not only a blessing, but entirely appropriate. After all, what could one say that the images hadn't already said? I sat there dumbfounded and agape.

Read more IMDb reviews