Dieste (Uruguay)

A film by Heinz Emigholz | 2017 | 95 minutes

A prologue examines three buildings from the 1930s designed by Julio Vilamajó in Montevideo which could have inspired the work of Eladio Dieste, the subject of this documentary. The industrial and functional buildings presented span the period from 1955 to 1994; their organic brick construction is astonishing and inspiring. Emigholz’s camera gives itself over to the elegantly curved lines, reveling in the buoyant, graceful shell architecture, which lets both air and light pass through, while also examining its surroundings to discover parallels in nature. Then the camera makes its way in turn through dismal, rubbish-strewn industrial areas to cathedral-like factory halls that house eerie mountains of unidentified substances. The epilogue “Dieste [Spain]” presents later buildings designed by the architect, smaller-scale copies of his larger church buildings. Closed off and compact, they come across like caricatures, out of place in the foreign setting. They form a sobering footnote that only illustrates the uniqueness of successful architecture all the more vividly.


REVIEWS

“Heinz Emigholz is the world’s most acute observer of architecture.”
– Variety

“Emigholz’s groundbreaking and spellbinding architectural films are, quite simply, cinematographic re-enactments of the immediate experience of spaces. With an often canted camera, he dissects the interior and exterior of a building, allowing the viewer to experience being there and, by studying a career of an architect, construct a biography solely based on the works, free of commentary.”
– Cinema Scope

“DIESTE [URUGUAY] explores the beautiful, undulating, highly engineered brick structures of an architect who advocated ‘resistance through form.'”
– Notebook

 

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