Search

Documentarists for a day: Gaudí and Picasso

Cinema.  New York,  20/02/2018

Anthology Film Archives presents a series of films that highlight the documentary achievements of directors more widely known for their fiction films, bringing together a diverse constellation of filmmakers.




While their subjects, motives, and modes of exploration vary greatly, these films all demonstrate the allure of nonfiction filmmaking and its capacity for accommodating the sensibilities and approaches of such a wide range of artists. At the same time these films reveal new dimensions of each particular author’s work. The films and their makers suggest a distinction between the documentary, as it is generally known, and a form of narrative nonfiction led less by a subject than by an earnest desire to exercise an alternative mode of expression. One can argue that each instance in the series occupies an interesting place within this field and invites us to consider how a film’s aim at truth is inevitably shaped by the eye that interprets it. The series also encompasses works that begin to destabilize the distinctions between fiction and nonfiction filmmaking, a rich and fascinating avenue of inquiry that filmmakers continue to explore today, when the documentary/fiction hybrid film has become something like a genre of its own.

Documentarists for a day runs February 2–20 and features two Spanish artists: Antonio Gaudí and the city of Guernica, the source of inspiration for Picasso’s masterpiece.

Antonio Gaudí

  • On February 4, at 5:45 pm.
  • On February 9, at 7 pm.
  • On February 19, at 9:15 pm.
  • By Hiroshi Teshigahara.
  • In Japanese with English subtitles, 1984, 72 minutes, 35 mm.

Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926) designed some of the world’s most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks; Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films ever made. Here their artistry melds in a unique, enthralling cinematic experience. Less a documentary than a visual poem, Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudí takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture, including his massive, still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. With camera work as bold and sensual as the curves of his subject’s organic structures, Teshigahara immortalizes Gaudí on film.

Short nonfiction films by Alain Resnais

  • On February 6 at 7 pm.
  • On February 11 at 9 pm.
  • In French with English subtitles. Total running time: ca. 90 minutes.

Before making Hiroshima Mon Amour, the film that launched his legendary career as the author of some of the most innovative and uncategorizable films in international art cinema, Alain Resnais created a series of short nonfiction films on a dizzying range of topics. The most famous of these early works is surely his shattering but highly controlled meditation on the Nazi concentration camps, Night And Fog (1955).

That seminal documentary anchors this short selection of Resnais’s films of the 1940s and 50s, alongside some of his lesser-known nonfiction work of the period: Van Gogh (1948), the first of several biographical portraits; Guernica, a study of the Basque town that suffered catastrophic bombing during WWII, narrated by María Casares and featuring the writing of Paul Eluard and the art of Pablo Picasso; and the altogether extraordinary Le Chant du Styrène (1958), an industrial film commissioned to celebrate the glory of plastics, that Resnais and his collaborator, avant-garde writer Raymond Queneau, transform into a Pop Art, Cinemascope masterpiece of vivid color and mechanical rhythms.

  • Van Gogh, 1948, 20 minutes, 35 mm, B&W.
  • Guernica, 1951, 13 minutes, 35 mm, B&W.
  • Night And Fog / Nuit Et Brouillard. 1955, 32 minutes, 35 mm.

Le Chant du Styrène, 1958, 19 minutes, 16 mm.

Fri, February 02 —
Tue, February 20, 2018

Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Sponsors of IRL projects

The Institut Ramon Llull

is a consortium that comprises the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad.

Generalitat de CatalunyaGovern Illes BalearsAjuntament de Barcelona

This website uses its own and third party cookies to offer better browsing. By browsing in it the user agrees to the way we use cookies. Users can prevent cookies from being generated and erase them by using the options on their browser. Blocking cookies may mean that some of this website’s services and options do not work properly.


Cookies are small pieces of data that websites send to browsers and which are stored in users’ devices: computers, mobile telephones, tablets, and so on. Their purpose is to improve the experience of using the website, as these archives make it possible for the website to remember information about the user’s visits, such as preferred options or language. In this way the website personalizes its content and becomes more agile and useful for the user.

By browsing this website users agree to cookies being installed in their equipment that enable us to find out the following information:

Types of cookies

This website uses session, or temporary, cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies merely keep data while the user is visiting the website. Persistent cookies store the data on the device’s hard drive so that it will be accessible in more than one session.

Depending on the type of data obtained the website can use technical cookies.

These allow users to browse the webpage and use the different options or services it contains. For example, controlling data traffic and communication, identifying the session, entering restricted access areas, requesting enrolment or participation in an event, using security features while browsing and storing content.

Personalization cookies.

These allow users to access the website with some general characteristics that are either already predefined in their hard drive or defined by the user. For example, the language, the type of browser used to access the website, the chosen content design, the geo-location of the device or the regional configuration from where access takes place.

Statistical analysis cookies

These make it possible to monitor and analyse the behaviour of visitors to the website. The information gathered is used to measure a website’s activity and to produce users’ browsing history, making it possible to improve the service.

Third party cookies

Third party cookies that manage and improve the services offered can also be installed. For example, statistics services like Google Analytics.

Managing the cookies in my browser

Users can allow, block or erase the cookies installed in their device by configuring the browsing options.

If the use of cookies in the browser is blocked, some services or functions of the webpage may not be available