Heinz Emigholz - Schindlers Häuser (2007)
Thursday, June 7, 2007
The film shows, in chronological order, forty buildings of the Austrian-American architect Rudolph Schindler (1887-1953) from the years 1921 to 1952. Schindler's pioneering work in southern California founds a particular branch of architectonic Modernism. All of the photography took place in May 2006. The film therefore offers a current portrait of urban living in Los Angeles that has never been documented in this form before.
"In 1975 I came by chance upon the Lovell House in Newport Beach. At first glance the building seemed both singular and sensible. But at that time I was occupied as a filmmaker with extremely time-analytical compositions, with no thought to architecture beyond the medium of time. It was only later that I expanded my filmic work to include questions and depictions of space. I had forgot about the encounter with the house until I recognized it again while filming in May 2006. At the end of the 1980s I first consciously took notice of one or two other houses in Los Angeles [by Schindler]. A few years later I developed the plan for the film series 'Photography and beyond'. And Schindler, after Louis Sullivan and Robert Maillart and alongside Adolf Loos, Bruce Goff and Frederick Kiesler, was the missing link to the present - at least as far as my sense of space is concerned."
(Heinz Emigholz on his first encounter with the works of Schindler, from an interview with Marc Ries)
It was not unusual to find packed houses at films like Heinz Emigholz's marvelously spare documentary "Schindler's Houses", in which a series of static images of forty homes designed by modernist architect Rudolph Schindler had the cumulative effect of becoming one of the most compelling textural portraits of urban Los Angeles ever filmed.
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