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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Antonio Gaudi (1984) d. Hiroshi Teshigahara

Wavy concrete forms with biologically influenced designs are characteristic of Gaudi's work, which combined Gothic cathedrals with William Morris to concrete an utterly unique architecture in Barcelona.

Movie Review
Antonio Gaudi (1984)
 d. Hiroshi Teshigahara
Criterion Collection #425

  This is an hour and ten minute (mostly) wordless documentary/visual poem on the subject of Catalan Architect Antonio Gaudi.  Gaudi's work is a major tourist attraction in Barcelona, which itself receives upwards of three million tourists a year, many of which make a visit to one of the major Gaudi sites in Barcelona, the Familia Sagrada Cathedral and Park Guell chief among them.  The camer work is slow and loving and the fact that Teshigahara gets most of his shots without anyone else IN THEM is enough to warrant a viewing even if you've been to Barcelona and seen the buildings/park in the central area.  Another reason to watch this film is that Teshighahara gets footage of Colonia Guell which has a Gaudi designed crypt, and what looked like an actual housing development of single family dwellings- I can't find that anywhere on the internet.

   Towards the end of the film there is actually an interview with someone who narrates the back story the the Familia Cathedral, still unfinished, which must be the only "must-see" Catholic cathedral in the last century. Gaudi was actually deeply Catholic, and lacked the radicalism of the contemporaneous artistic avant garde which launched the career of Pablo Picasso, as well as several lesser known writers and artists in the late 19th and 20th century.

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