Gaudi and Takemitsu: perfect combo
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great tour through the works of the brilliant, one-of-a-kind architect Antonio Gaudi. Find some pictures of his work on the net, and, if you're impressed, you'll like this movie. The cinematography is perfect, tracking and panning slowly over his work, so you can take it in. As if Gaudi's work wasn't enough, it also features music by the great Toru Takemitsu, who is the ultimate tour guide, much better than the narrator a lesser documentary on Gaudi might have provided. Instead of rattling off information, Takemitsu offers mood and atmosphere to compliment Gaudi's visuals perfectly. Together they offer a haunting, hallucinatory experience."
Fantasy As Reality: A Small Feast of Antonio Gaudi
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A well-crafted film that provides a tantalizing glimpse of some of Gaudi's most famous work. With the exception of a brief interview with one of Gaudi's contemporaries, there is no narrative or dialogue. Rather, the film is a riveting visual feast; excellent cinematography with a unique musical score that complements the architecture shown. Occasional English sub-titles identify buildings, locations and dates of construction. The film opens with a brief look at the culture of Spain in the medieval period through its art and architecture, establishing a background against which to juxtapose Gaudi's radical departure from the historical past. Little is told of Gaudi's life; instead this film concentrates on some of his more notable work and does so brilliantly. It leaves one wanting more...much more! Who was this man? How did he do it? What else did he design? This feast for the eyes and ears can be understood easily by non-English speakers. Highly recommended!"
Beautifully captured images of Gaudi's work.
Wayne E. Barry | San Francisco, California | 11/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw this film, I did not know what to expect. One thing is there is no dialogue, just footage of the glorious city of Barcelona and the effect Gaudi's work had on the place. It's beautiful, surreal and an extremely awe inspiring experience to view it all on film. There is a depth to this film which words cannot convey, only seeing this film can one appreciate Gaudi and the city of Barcelona. A city imbued with enormous beauty and creative genius. One can feel great pride for the Catalan people by just his (Gaudi's) example alone. Well worth your time to see!"
Sound and image
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 02/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those used to the more linear approach to documentaries seen in American and European docs, this 1984 film will come as either a revelation or a bore (see one of the below reviews). But the director, Hiroshi Teshigahara--who had previously made several films with the composer Toru Takemitsu (all based on the writing of Kobo Abe)--here takes an unusual approach to the documentary, almost completely eschewing voiceover or any linear narrative perspective to instead immerse the viewer in the brilliance that was Antonio Gaudi.
Some people know Gaudi was the architect who designed and built highly original cathedrals (principally the Sagrada Familia) and other buildings in Barcelona. But what they may not know is that he was also a ceramics artist and a sculptor. Teshigahara lovingly and meticulously guides and glides us through the surreal archiect's work, comprising not only the aforementioned structures, but also buttresses, apartment building exteriors and interiors both, gates, ceilings, and all manner of unusual and strikingly organic shapes--a group of stone columns uncannily resembles a clump of trees--that amaze the viewer.
All the while, Takemitsu's music provides a unique complement to these startling visual images, often juxtaposing stark experimental sequences with their opposite--rigidly formal church music. The contrast of the two is an intriguing mix and a perfect match to what we are seeing. Gaudi was strongly religious, yat at the same time boldly innovative in his designs. Nowhere else on earth will anyone ever see buildings and structures like they will in Barcelona.
Near the end of the film, a Japanese narrator translates Spanish into Japanese--the Spanish is that of a student of Gaudi's; meanwhile, English subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen. The student speaks of his teacher, and that is the only "text" we are privy to in learning something about him. But it is very short, and soon after, the film ends. Teshigahara means, of course, for Gaudi's work to speak for itself, but he is also, I think, saying that there is something more to these breathtaking forms than just the sensuous pleasure of seeing them. There is, we could likely say, a mystical sense of what Gaudi was trying to do...
Highly recommended. Nothing else like this documentary anywhere. Unfortunately as of this writing, February 2006, the DVD is out of print."