Always there had puzzled the figure of the German architect Herbert Lippschitz – actually reality it is not even known if he was an architect-, that fleeing of the Nazi, it came to Spain before the Civil war with Max Nosseck, to work as cinematographic set designer and ended up by being a producer. Now there is many more information on him, even an entry in the Wikipedia and knows that in The United States one made call Herbert O. Phillips, but he continues being an interesting professional.
A few days ago I have found an interview that they did to him in March, 1934 and that goes as title: «The original ideas of Lippschitz, cinematographic architect of Dona Francisquita», the interview is the following one:
“We have asked Lippschítz to explain to us some of his ideas on cinematographic architecture. For any response, it asks us to accompany him; it places before the piano and, with surprising agility and pace, starts touching a waltz you come. Finished this one, he asks us:
—Have they liked it?
Slightly worried we answer:
—Yes, very much; but … and of architecture, can it say something to us?
—About architecture? Ah, yes! A moment; you hear this.?
His agile fingers interpret Chopin’s study.Definitively anxious, we think incorrectly that it does not want to answer to our questions. Suddenly, it gets up of the chair and says to us:
—Have you heard what I have touched to the piano? So well: the ” cinematographic architecture is at sight what the music to the ear “. A lounge, a stairs, a church, a street, everything, everything needs to be in the slightly musical cinema. Since we have not in the cinema, till now, the color, we have to give pace to the form, agility to the structure, movement to the static things. The actor says to us in two words:
“Today I am happy”. And necessarily, the room in which he says these words must take automatically the same tone of the feeling of the actor. If we are in full tragedy, the words, the chairs, the objects, the lights, everything must be tragic: it is the environment that it must replace to our imagination and often her help. You look if not: In this room. A man must reflect in his person a condition of interior satisfaction. It needs, so, that the walls, the chairs, the objects, everything should breathe well-being: up to the fire of the chimney it has to, with his sputterings, come to our heart and we produce internal happiness.
The line, the form, it is a question of technology; the environment is a question of taste, of interpretation, of sensibility. That one that manages with two roses placed in his site to express the sensations of a person., that one is a good assistant for the cinematographic art.
That one that he constructs magnificent decorated, splendid rooms and streets, without our sight manages to find a shade in all this, that one can be a great technician, but an evil artist… “
Curious way of understanding the cinematographic scenery in an epoch in which the color did not exist, though yes the word…
Jorge Gorostiza, PhD architect.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, abril 2016
Author of the blog Arquitectura+Cine+Ciudad
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.