LE CORBUSIER [|||||] ASGER JORN [RELIEF] (Le Corbusier [|||||] Asger Jorn [Relief]) Heinz Emigholz, D/DNK 2015, 29 min
The film contrasts the "Villa Savoye", built by Le Corbusier in 1931, and Asger Jorn’s "Grand Relief", built in 1959.
Zohar Rubinstein: How was working at the Le Corbusier villa?
Heinz Emigholz: What I felt, when I was there, was the history of the family Savoye. When you are there you have a phantasy about this family, and then how the Nazis took over and the Allies, and it was ruined. They only had ten years in the building. There was this sad aspect about the whole place, that in a way it’s an utopian setting. I don’t care much about Le Corbusier’s phrase „a house is a machine for living“. It’s a very well designed and personal place, but you got a feeling of sadness through the fact that it was so perfect and then it had to be left behind. The ghosts inhabiting this house made you feel uncomfortable when you were there... When we travelled to France, we arrived on a Sunday and our shooting day was a Monday. We arrived in the afternoon and, of course, we went to the location to look how the light would be in the afternoon. It was open to the public because it’s a national monument. There was a kind of performance going on. A modern dancer and a Jazz musician with a saxophon. They went through all the rooms of the house and then around the house. I said to my colleague Till Beckmann, It’s so strange that these modern houses always attract the same kind of performances... (Laughter)... as if they belong to them. Why is that?
R: A question about the meeting between culture and psychology, right?
E: In her dance movements was a lot of alienation, standing with her face to the wall, and the noise was squeaking as if it’s a big ordeal to live in that house or something... Maybe that’s already too much interpretation.
R: Because you knew already the history of the villa, you couldn’t help feeling that and you couldn’t help watching or sensing the ghosts. But suppose a person visits there as a guest and is not aware and therefore cannot see or feel the ghosts.
E: But as soon as you know, there is no way out. I filmed a lot of houses and sometimes you have the phantasy, How would it be, if I live here? It’s very nice for me to have so many locations in my brain, so that I can envision myself in all these houses. Because after you filmed them, they are burnt into your mind. With most of the houses I have the feeling, now it’s done and I don’t have to come back again. But then there are some houses where I think I want to go back.
R: So it’s true that in a way some of the buildings conway sadness rather than joy.
E: Yes. Very different feelings. The method of the films enables the sense of a building to come through, without being dramatized. You let it happen. The Loos-film, for example, has for me that aspect of European architecture at the end of something. It makes you very sad, when you know about his life and then you know about the Nazis and Austria. He died shortly before, but the whole idea of this architecture came to an end there. The sadness of the Villa Savoye was more on my side. It will not be in the film. I don’t say, Now I want to do a shot that makes you feel sad or something like that. I don’t do that.
Awards and Festivals
- 66. Berlinale / Forum Expanded, Germany 2016
- Copenhagen Architecture Festival 2016
- ART.WHO.ART Festival, Moskau 2016
- BAFICI - Festivales de Buenos Aires 2016
- Spazio Oberdan - Cineteca Milano 2016
- Viennale - Vienna International Film Festival 2016
- BDA - Filmforum Bremen 2018
- Metakino Festival Helsinki 2019