The 1984 documentary by Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara is an appreciation of the man of faith and genius who created the Modernist basilica.
The great Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926) transformed Barcelona with his inventive, one-of-a-kind buildings, which combine organic forms with bright tiles and unusual designs based on nature. His buildings were built without internal bracing or external buttressing, as they were meant to stand on their own, just as trees do. He is best known for the still-incomplete Sagrada Familia (Basilica of the Holy Family), which earned him the sobriquet, “God’s Architect.”
A man of great faith, Gaudí devoted the last years of his life to his “cathedral for the poor,” which today is Barcelona’s biggest tourist attraction, receiving 2 million visitors a year. He died in 1926, after being hit by a trolley car while on his way to church.
The Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s documentary film Antonio Gaudi is the culmination of the director’s life-long love of Gaudí’s work. Criterion.com describes the film as one of “the most aesthetically audacious films ever made”:
“Less a documentary than a visual poem, Teshigahara’s filmtakes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture, including his massive, still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona. With camera work as bold and sensual as the curves of his subject’s organic structures, Teshigahara immortalizes Gaudí on film.”
With very little explanatory text or voice overs, the film can be enjoyed by speakers of every language. Watch it here: