The architect Auzelle and the cinematographic interior decorators | Jorge Gorostiza

El arquitecto,1965,Robert Auzelle
The architect, by Robert Auzelle

A few days ago accidentally I obtained a book that did not know, The architect written by Robert Auzelle in 1965. The truth is that I it started seeing for the end and in the note (38) reading this:

«the taste of the interior decorators of cinema demonstrates, if not frankly mediocre, almost always debatably. On the other hand, often they accumulate structural mistakes and commit mistakes of style».

Impressed with the forcefulness and the injustice of the comment, I continued turning the pages of the book and I surprised Enrique V saw a photography of the movie in the one that one sees since they hoist with a coarse derrick a gentleman with armor on a horse, with this foot of photo:

«Really it is a question of a “historical” movie; but the minor doubt does not leave the genuineness of this technology».

Auzelle is contradicted and apparently not all the «interior decorators of cinema» «accumulate mistakes».

A few months ago I wrote on another architect that it was in opposition to the cinema, therefore, it must not surprise the ill-will and the ignorance that has Auzelle of the work of the good cinematographic set designers. It is curious, because the note before mentioned, it corresponds to a part of the book in the one that writes on the power of the cinema as transmitter of the architecture, the text is the following one:

«Still we still have the cinema, which advantage is it of taking in consideration the movement and the time.

Numerous successes demonstrate since with the architectural space it can provide evocations saturated of interest. He suffers from the disadvantage of getting away, even less than the others, from the subjectivity. And his limitation rests in not being able to appear more than what it exists, provided that, anyone that is his degree of perfection, we cannot give the accolade to the sets and to the reproductions (38).

Nevertheless, the cinema means a valid way of knowing and a pedagogic tool still in excess despised. Some good movies might act as powerful paladión of the education. They would allow to explain in a subjective way, clear it is, but pondered and makes concrete, to the art of the composition. And it, for multiplication of the points of view and his connection according to different paces, which would give to understand the dynamic value of some spaces or, on the contrary, for presentation of images, fixed and panoramic, taken from the same point of view, to call the attention of the spectator on certain element that praises the space.

To saying truth, all the possibilities of the cinema, from the travelling or cazcalcar (sic) of the chamber, up to the zoom or sudden step of the great angular one to the teleobjetivo, from the plane to the overprinting, they are not enough to follow the mobility of the spirit in his beatífica contemplation, in the borders of the objective knowledge and of the internal vision. Mas, let’s admit that they approach them of marvel and that, handled by an eminent artist, they might give reason, with many efficiency, of the qualities of an architectural composition.

Didactic irreplaceable resource, the cinema in addition might consent the diffusion of an architectural culture. This one is one of the most urgent tasks, if we think about the crowds that the leisure throws to all the routes of the world and that, to be molded to certain vulgar consensus, come bound to admire architectural works, which nobody taught them to understand. Neither the postcards, nor the waste of photos and of fan’s movies serve to illustrate the aesthetic possession».

It is not known if Auzelle knew Robert Mallet-Stevens‘s texts, that forty years before, already he had written articles in which he was proposing that the cinema should fulfill the same divulging function of the architecture.

No se sabe si Auzelle conocía los textos de Robert Mallet-Stevens, que cuarenta años antes, ya había escrito artículos en los que proponía que el cine cumpliera esta misma función divulgadora de la arquitectura.

Jorge Gorostiza, arquitecto.
Author of the blog Arquitectura+Cine+Ciudad
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, july 2015

Jorge Gorostiza

Doctor arquitecto, proyecta y construye edificios y desarrolla trabajos de urbanismo. Desde 1990, publica numerosos artículos sobre cine y arquitectura en medios de su localidad, revistas como Nosferatu, Nickleodeon, Academia, Lateral, Cahiers du Cinema… y en varios volúmenes colectivos. Entre el 2000 y el 2005 dirige la Filmoteca Canaria. Imparte conferencias sobre arquitectura y cine en instituciones como el CAAM en Gran Canaria, la UIMP, el CENDEAC en Murcia, INCUNA en Gijón, Fundación Telefónica, la ETS de Arquitectura y el CCCB de Barcelona, las ETS de Arquitectura de La Coruña, Sevilla, Valencia y SEU madrileña, La Ciudad de la Luz en Alicante, la UNED en Pamplona, en varios colegios de arquitectos, así como en las universidades del País Vasco, Gerona, Valladolid, Málaga, Granada, SEK en Segovia y CEES de Madrid. Jurado en varios festivales cinematográficos, como los de Alcalá de Henares (2001), San Sebastián (2002), Sitges (2003), Las Palmas (2005) y Documentamadrid (2005), y comisario de las exposiciones Constructores de quimeras. (Centro Conde Duque, Madrid, 1999) y La arquitectura de los sueños (Capilla del Oidor, Alcalá de Henares, 2001).

He publicado bastantes libros y muchos artículos, he impartido conferencias, he sido comisario de exposiciones y jurado en muchísmos festivales. Si quieren saber más no duden en consultar mi blog ARQUITECTURA + CINE + CIUDAD.

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