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Arch on Film: Having A Cigarette with Álvaro Siza + Reconversão

09 May 18:30 - 20:30
Organized by: The Architecture Foundation
Venue: Barbican
Silk Street

A double bill of films regarding the work of two Pritzker Prize winning Portuguese architects – Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura – reflecting upon their work and philosophy through their own words. Both alumni of the University of Porto – where Souto de Moura was Siza’s pupil, before working in his office from 1974-79 – the two friends, colleagues and frequent collaborators even share offices in the same, Siza-designed, building. Participants in an intimate ongoing conversation, these two films transpose this dialogue to the screen, with two filmmakers as our guides.


The screening will be introduced by architect, writer and curator André Tavares (Chief Curator, Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2016, Publisher, Dafne Editora).



(Germany, 2016, Iain Dilthey, 52 mins)


Narrated by Siza himself – in conversation with the both the camera and Souta de Moura over multiple cigarettes, Dilthey takes us on a tour of Siza’s work, listening and lingering as Siza reflects upon architecture as an agent of time, memory, beauty and responsibilty. An intimate insight into the practice of one of the world’s leading architects, the film’s simultaneously formal and open approach mirrors the balance between stature and humility within the architect’s own work.





(Portugal, 2012, Thom Andersen, 67 mins)


Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself) creates a cinematic corollary to Souto de Moura’s practice, focused upon the architect’s exploration of the ruin as the ‘natural state’ of architecture, and the city as an agglomeration of fragments of past, present and future. Detailing 17 projects, Andersen's essay film uses and responds to the architect’s writings as it travels on a tour of his buildings. Capturing Souto de Moura’s work through a Muybridge-like succession of animated still images, Reconversão intimates the parallels between architecture and cinema as frames of time, space and memory.