- Literally left me speechless! 12/4/2010 12:00:00 AM by Mixxy_Mona
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!
- Gaudi was ahead of his time. 10/5/2006 12:00:00 AM by alanpayne
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.
- Puzzling 12/22/2012 12:00:00 AM by rps-2
This is a puzzling film. It's magnificently shot. But there is next to no information. If you did not know who Gaudi was, you would be lost. Turns out I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago and read up on Gaudi. The photography is stunning but I still want to know more. I saw a lot of Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona but had no idea there were this many. The movie tells nothing about the man. For example, his crypt. I think that's what it was. They never said. What was the story behind it. (Gaudi died after being hit by a streetcar.) His work was unique. Oddly enough, although he was famous, no one ever picked up and built on his style as they did with, say, Frank Lloyd Wright. If I was shooting a movie about an alien planet, his buildings would be the perfect set. They have a Ray Bradbury quality. You wonder what he may have been smoking when he designed them. Having said that, this probably would be right behind Rocky Horror Picture Show as an ideal film for toking up. It's well worth watching if only for the brilliant camera work.
- See Gaudi's Barcelona without the crowds and lines! 8/19/2011 12:00:00 AM by girl_on_wire
Be warned that this is not your typical documentary. There is very little dialogue. If you are one of little patience like me, I recommend watching this movie on your laptop browser while simultaneously trying to get some work done, or while chatting with a friend and sharing a bottle of wine. But be warned: without any notice, your work will go mysteriously uncompleted, and the conversation with your friend will inexplicably go quiet as you are sucked into the screen.
I visited Barcelona over a year ago and saw many of Gaudi's works and projects for myself, and can definitively say that this film truly captures the sensation of being awed by something that cannot be described by words alone-- a sensation that one feels when encountering a work of Gaudi completely by surprise, after the layers of the city are peeled away. Gaudi's works are shown in the context of scenes of the hustle and bustle of Barcelona life, the haunting medieval churches, the Catalonian countryside, and the amazing forms in nature which impacted Gaudi's art. Occasionally, old black-and-white photographs of the city streets and people are presented, showing scenes of the Barcelona Gaudi lived and worked in. The wonderful, trippy music captures the shift in mood as the camera moves through a noisy, colorful crowd enjoying Parc Guell and then slowly zooming in onto the unsettling, hallucinatory giant sculptural forms that miraculously coexist with this everyday world.
I am not saying that watching this movie will be an adequate replacement for seeing the city of Barcelona and Gaudi's structures for yourself. But as someone who visited Barcelona but was discouraged from venturing into Gaudi's buildings by skyrocketing ticket prices and endless lines, I greatly appreciated this movie, which allowed me to glimpse the miraculous city and architecture through Teshigahara's eyes. Now go to Barcelona and make it your own.
- Spectacular meditation on Gaudi's genius 9/10/2009 12:00:00 AM by Flak_Magnet
Do you wanna see some REALLY cool architechture? Rent this movie. The structures and buildings on display are unlike anything else on Earth. Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) was a believer in naturalism, and his structures utilized a lot of organic principles. The buildings showcased, (and their subsequent interiors), are almost otherworldly, and they often look like something from Tolkien or Giger. (Think Middle Earth). Almost all of the film is devoted to showcasing Gaudi's work, which included apartments, homes, offices, outdoor structures, and fantastic cathedrals. Hiroshi Teshigahara, himself a student of art and ikebana (i.e. Japanese flower arrangement), was a highly visual film director, and his treatment of Gaudi's work is brilliant. There is essentially no narration, but the film's ambient score and breathtaking visuals work to reinforce the true genius of Gaudi's architechture. I was awestruck by the magnitude of this stuff, and the film takes you very close to the work of this incredible genius. Gaudi and Teshigahara are both on high display here, and the result is an entrancing, memorable experience. Highly recommended.