House Life in a Koolhaas

Martin Filler in the New York Review of Books Blog:

Tumblr_ky23oeN6J31qa1cnp Few makers of architectural documentaries exploit the full potential of film to create a convincing sense of what it is like to move through a sequence of interiors, an ability made much easier with the introduction of the Steadicam in 1976. A rare exception is Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine’s 58-minute-long Koolhaas Houselife (2008), one of two recent releases on the celebrated Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, principal of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam.

Now 65, Koolhaas has managed to preserve his longstanding reputation as the bad boy of his profession while executing one of the most impressive bodies of built work of his generation. Koolhaas Houselife, about which this all-controlling architect must have very mixed feelings, is among four films by Bêka and Lemoine being screened at New York’s Storefront for Architecture through February 27 (along with three other features from their Living Architecture series, on buildings by Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron).

Koolhaas Houselife is best seen together with another recent documentary on the same subject, Markus Heldingsfelder and Min Tesch’s 97-minute Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect (2008), which has been broadcast on cable television. Its frenetic pacing, dizzying crosscuts, and pulsating digital effects typify the pervasive influence of MTV’s hyperactive music-video formula on current filmmaking.

More here.