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Antonio Gaudi Criterion Blu-ray Review


“Antonio Gaudi” is a visual feast.

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1984’s “Antonio Gaudi” is a documentary film about the titular Catalan architect. Structurally, this does not play out like your average documentary as there is very little narration and only a few instances in which people speak. The majority of the runtime is essentially a guided visual tour of his distinctly stylized work accompanied by moody music and sometimes photograph stills. Viewers also get a glimpse at the culture surrounding his art (or even within them). 

“Antonio Gaudi” is very much a tribute to the artist whose buildings, churches, fountains, wall murals, mosaics are nothing short of astonishing. The sheer scope and range of Gaudi’s visionary ahead of his time work is made even more wondrous under the eye of talented filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara who makes the viewer feel as if they are there in Barcelona (among other spots) getting an art history lesson. Among the most jaw-dropping pieces are the other worldly Casa Battlo (which looks like something out of a sci-fi or fantasy film) and the incredibly detailed dragon gate which is even cooler than it sounds. 

If I had one criticism it would be the lack of names and locations. It would have been nice to know the name of each work and where they can be found. 


Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How does it look? The digitally restored print has a few rough looking shots, but for the most part this is a nice upgrade.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? Truth be told, there’s not much going on sound wise here, but what little there is sounded fine to this reviewer.

* A booklet featuring credits, an essay by author/critic Dore Ashton, a convo between Hiroshi Teshigahara and Noriko Namura from a book, a convo between Sofu Teshigahara and Taro Hiramatsu
* “Antonio Gaudi” trailer
* “Gaudi, Catalunya, 1959”- Nearly 20 minutes of silent 16mm footage of Hiroshi and Sofu Teshigahara touring Barcelona and visiting Salvador Dali’s home
* “Arata Isozaki”- A 2006 interview with architect Arata Isozaki who once collaborated with Hiroshi Teshigahara.
* “God’s Architect: Antoni Gaudi”- Part 1 of the BBC “Visions of Space” program on religion in Antoni Gaudi’s work.
* “Monitor”- A Ken Russell directed documentary for BBC’s “Monitor” series about Antoni Gaudi’s architectural work.
* “Sculptures By Sofu- Vita”- A 1963 Hiroshi Teshigahara directed short about his father Sofu’s sculpture exhibition 

February 17, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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