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Antonio Gaudi (The Criterion Collection) (1984)

Isidro Puig Boada , Seiji Miyaguchi , Hiroshi Teshigahara  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Isidro Puig Boada, Seiji Miyaguchi
  • Directors: Hiroshi Teshigahara
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011U3OAG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Antonio Gaudi (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • New video interview with architect Arata Isozaki
  • Footage from director Hiroshi Teshigahara's first trip to Spain
  • Sculptures by Sofu- Vita, a short film by Teshigahara on the sculpture of his father
  • A program on Gaudi by director Ken Russell
  • Booklest featuring essay by art historian Dore Ashton
  • Visions of Space: "God's Architect", a 1-hour BBC special

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

At 72 minutes, Hiroshi Teshigahara's hypnotic Antonio Gaudí ranks among the shorter films to receive the Criterion Collection's hallowed two-disc treatment. The original trailer and a restored and re-subtitled edition of the experimental documentary take up the first disc, while the second houses a wealth of enlightening extras. Silent 16mm footage titled Gaudí, Catalunya, 1959 serves as a sketch for the film-to-come (and includes a visit with Gaudí enthusiast Salvador Dalí). Then, architect/art director Arata Isozaki (Teshigahara's The Face of Another) talks about the filmmaker's formidable father, Sofu, and Japanese interest in the Spanish mystic. In God's Architect, part of the BBC’s 2003 architectural series Visions of Space, famously unstuffy art critic Robert Hughes describes the contradictory Gaudí as radical, subversive, arrogant, and ascetic. As he puts it, Gaudí's Barcelona commissions, notably life-long project Sagrada Família, range from raw and primitive to sexy and immensely sophisticated. Ken Russell (The Devils) directs the second Beeb supplement, a 1961 Monitor segment on the architect. The special features conclude with Teshigahara's trippy 1963 short, Sculptures by Sofu-Vita and a 36-page booklet of essays, remembrances, and photographs. The only thing missing: a profile of composer Toru Takemitsu, whose inventive score is an integral part of the main feature. This double-disc collection pays tribute to two men, director Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927-2001) and architect Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926), products of different cultures--both masters of their chosen professions. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí (1852 1926) designed some of the world s most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks; Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films of the second half of the twentieth century. Here, their artistry melds in a unique, enthralling cinematic experience. Less a documentary than a visual poem, Teshigahara s ANTONIO GAUDI takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí s truly spectacular architecture, including his massive still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral, in Barcelona. With camerawork as bold and sensual as the curves on his subject s organic surfaces, Teshigahara immortalizes Gaudí on film.

Special Features
* - New, restored high-definition digital transfer
* - New video interview with architect Arata Isozaki
* - Gaudí, Catalunya 1959, a short film by Hiroshi Teshigahara featuring footage from his first trip to Spain
* - Monitor: Antonio Gaudí (1961), a short film essay by director Ken Russell
* - VITA, a short film by Teshigahara on the sculpture work of his father, Sofu Teshigahara
* - Original theatrical trailer
* - New and improved English subtitle translation
* - PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by art historian Dore Ashton, and reprinted writings by Hiroshi and Sofu

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(27)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaudi and Takemitsu: perfect combo March 7, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully captured images of Gaudi's work. November 11, 2002
Format:DVD
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!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy As Reality: A Small Feast of Antonio Gaudi June 28, 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound and image February 26, 2006
Format:DVD
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent look at a unique artist May 23, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film

Antonio Gaudí is a film about the fames Spanish Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudí, also known as Antoni Gaudí. This great artist designed many buildins in Barcelona way ahead of their time and his masterpice, a cathedral, Sagrada Família, is still incomplete.

The film is largely silent with a musical track with occasional narration but shows his work in great detail and beauty. It was directed by famed Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara.

The special features of more of my attention as they had more information about Gaudí.

Disc one contains the film with a theatrical trailer.

Disc two contains "Gaudí, Catalunya, 1959" footage from the director's first trip to Spain, "Visions of Space: Antonio Gaudí" a biographical documentary on Gaudí's life and his buildings. (This documentary was excellent and one of the few times the special features on a Criteiron DVD are better than the film), A BBC documentary on Gaudí, "Sculptures by Sofu--Vita" a film by Teshigahara about the sculptures made by his father, Sofu Teshigahara.

This is one of the finest releases Criterion has done in terms of it's actuality and beauty. I consider this a must buy DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Showcases Gaudi's architecture
The photography of Gaudi' s creativity set to music is intriguing, but erratic. If you are unfamiliar with Barcelona's architectural landmarks, you may not know exactly which... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Suzette
4.0 out of 5 stars Teshigaharchitecture.
Antonio Gaudí (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1985)

I only know who Antonio Gaudí is thanks to a mix-up at my local library. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Beveridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaudi well-presented
There's a lot of Gaudi material available, but this film is a great explanation of his work and life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kay H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
The film starts with some strange hobbit looking buildings and interiors. You might imagine any of them in the middle of a thick forest populated by unicorns and minotaurs. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mr. critic
1.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC IS BIZARRE
THE IMAGES ON THIS VIDEO ARE GORGEOUS...BUT THE MUSICAL BACKGROUND IS BIZARRE, DISTURBING, ERRIE...CAN WATCH WITH THE SOUND OFF..BUT THAT IS BIZARRE ALSO
Published 13 months ago by Mary Ann Salomone
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually Great and Informative
This was fantastic...Very Cinematic. Like being there. A kinda artistic vacation
on a DVD. Just the right flow to take in the wonderful architecture.
Published 15 months ago by "TAL"
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Sometimes, when watching DVDs to review, the odd occurrence of extra features surpassing the featured film occurs. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Cosmoetica
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
The DVDs show what a genius was Antonio Gaudi.From small projects to the Barcelona cathedral, he expressed a uniquely beautiful and magnificent style. Read more
Published 23 months ago by John C. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Book on Antonio Gaudi
This is an amazingly beautiful and comprehensive book for a very reasonable price!It contains photographs and descriptions of all of Gaudi's works.
Published on February 1, 2012 by pagoda princess
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable visual poem!
Two different perspectives; a same goal: two filmmakers from different latitudes. From France, George Clouzot (Mystery Picasso) -1956- and from Japan, Hiroshi Teshigara in 1959;... Read more
Published on August 10, 2011 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
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