Antoni Gaudí -- especially in movies such as Gaudí Afternoon and Unconscious -- I didn't know that much about the man and his life, not to mention practically anything about one of his unfinished works, The Sagrada Família in Barcelona, which has been under construc-tion since 1882 and remains today only maybe halfway completed. What a work it is -- and what an interesting docu-mentary filmmaker Stefan Haupt has made about it.
SAGRADA: The Mystery of Creation takes the time and trouble to show and tell us the history of the architect, his country and his church, and in the process gives us a pretty good tour of the ever-growing facility. All this is brought to us by folk as different as modern day architects and sculptors, politicians, church men and even a famous musician/conductor/ composer (Jordi Savall, shown below).
Etsuro Sotoo, below, who charms us initially as he explains why and how he is hitting the stone he is sculpting so very delicately: "I am asking the stone if I can hit it -- or not." Makes a certain sense, actually, as does the man's explanation of why he felt he must leave Buddhism for Catholicism, in order to place himself more in the shoes -- and spirit -- of Gaudí.
First Run Features, opens this Friday, December 19 in New York City at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center -- after playing most of the rest of the country already. You can take a look at all playdates, past and future, by clicking here.