27 February 2009

Kurt Naumann in "Die Architekten"

Kurt Naumann as Daniel Brenner

In 1990, the film Die Architekten (for those of you who don't know East German, its "The Architects") was released. This project was planned and filmed in the months right before the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event which most probably diminished its impact. Daniel Brenner is a 38 year old architect who has never built anything. Even with a wife and a child, he considers himself a failure. Early on in the film, I spotted a huge difference between the way American and European architects work. At a meeting with the architect Daniel works under, the modest Daniel admits that he has won first place in two competitions, coming in second a few times and earing an honorable mention in many more. The head architect congradulated Daniel on these achievements, but Daniel will have non of it. These days, you'll be hard pressed to find a firm that is willing to allocate a substantial part of its budget to a time consuming project that might go nowhere, but in other parts of the world, the chase seems to be as important as the catch. Its here that Daniel stands alone, he seems to want to be part of the western world. He values his work as long as it produces something tangent, something that can be used. He is alone, apart from his society, he goes so far as to deny his association to the communinist party even when confronted with the fact that his joining would lead to a number of commissions.

In an odd chance, Daniel is given the opportunity to design a huge building, one that would contain housing, movie theaters, resturants, a bowling alley, parks... A whole city in one block. He accepts on the condition that he can choose his dream team, a team consisting of the best students that he worked with during his days at the university.

The Seven Samuri at the Site

Throughout the movie, the important themes of design and construction are as important to the plot as the relationships the characters have with one another. At every turn, the communist party bureaucrats try to negate the design of the complex, and Daniel tries to find ways to covertly include real, unique ideas into his masterpiece.

This movie is worth much more than I can express in a few paragraphs. No matter where you work, find someone in your office who has Netflix, set up the projector on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, get a few bottles, watch it and discuss amongst yourselves. Then go see Click with Adam Sandler to lighten the mood.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking for this information, thanks for put in this easy way, I mean in a easy way to understand it jajaja, well until the next time.