Monday, December 04, 2006

The Socialist The Architect and the Twisted Tower


A film that shows thorny confrontation between dreams and reality: cultural clashes, financial crisis and heavy personal defeats. A hazardous project: the deposits are high, everyone in it has something to loose. You can ask a question to Fredrik Gertten right here, in the blog.

17 Comments:

Blogger shawn.day said...

This documentary is superb.

I appreciated the behind the scenes angles which really seemed to allow the viewer to get closer to the protagonists. You music track at the beginning and the end was also quite striking and well chosen for setting a particular mood. The overall temperature too seemed to capture the tension of the project. As I mentioned in my blog review the other aspect that you seemed to capture was the nature of the complexity of communication across languages and ethnicities, but also across mindsets, the creative, the pragmatic, the financial and the incumbent assumptions that mindsets seemed to place on the interactions.

Thanks for a superb production.

Cheers,

Shawn

2/05/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/06/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

Thanks for a superb comment Shawn! Where did you see the film?
This is a film set in my own city. It's great when it works also in other countries with totally different political reality. What did the audience say about Calatravas comments on Sweden?

10:28 AM

2/06/2007  
Blogger shawn.day said...

Hi Fredrik,

I actually saw it broadcast on the Masterworks series on our TVO, which I believe was involved in funding your venture in some way. I wish I had seen it with an audience.

As it was it was myself and an other individual.

Calatrava's comments on Sweden are are blunt and certainly had us ohhhing out of perceived sensitivity. I would be interested in hearing how Swedish audiences have reacted to his comments.

However, when follow interactions, especially the showdown scene between Calatrava's staff and the HSBs? one is struck by a certain hesitancy on the part of the Swedish staff and a pragmatic focus on the bottomline that does seem to give the credit to Calatrava and Orback for the almost spiritual dedication to 'give' Malmo a tower that is of global importance.

Thus, as a non-Swedish audience member, I am left not entirely unsympathetic with Calatrava's comment, but also wonder whether his comments are self-serving justification for aspects of the project that could be blamed on his office of him personally.

Was Orback's termination, although sudden and possibly badly orchestrated by the co-operative, to some extent a result of lack of attention from Calatrava's staff? I think Calatrava used the term martyr, but I am left wondering whether it was on the altar of purely financial mismanagement or larger project and vision mismanagement by all parties.

2/12/2007  
Blogger shawn.day said...

By the way...who did the soundtrack for the film? It really works.

2/12/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

Hi again Shawn, yes TV Ontario did a pre-buy of the film project. I'm very greatful to Rudy Buttignol and other commissiong editors that believed in the project.
Regarding the conflicts in the film. My idea was to leave it to the audience to decide about who's the good guy. or the bad one. If life is that easy to analyze. For me Calatrava's comment on Sweden is a bit too much, but I like his rage. A star architect needs guys like Örbäck. Without people risking their own or others money there wouldn't be any spectacular architecture around the world.
When I met Calatrava the first time August 2000 and later wrote my first proposal I could forsee a lot of the thins that later happened. A budget running wild, a politcal outrage in Malmö around a traditionally workers movement coop building for the rich. I'm sure that also Johnny Örbäck knew that. He took the risk AND lost. Or did he?

2/12/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

The soundtrack for the film is written and performed by Ceclilia Nordlund and Krister Jonsson. We will soon publish the final song on our webpage.
You can check out more on Cecilia on her myspace.

2/12/2007  
Blogger peter.brawley said...

A splendid film. Will the soundtrack be published, or at least the concluding song?

7/01/2007  
Blogger Will said...

Is there an option to purchase a download of the final song "Take me Higher" it is wonderful!

Will

7/27/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

Hi Will, I also love the song in the film Cecilia Nordlund has a great voice. So far you can only listen to the music through our website. Click on the WG radio on the top of the site. There are music from several of our films. Cecilia and Krister also wrote the title song to the film Belfast Girls. Check it out.
BTW, where did you see the film?

7/27/2007  
Blogger Will B said...

Fredrik, Thanks, I saw the film at the Auckland Film Festival at the Academy. Fantastic

7/30/2007  
Blogger Will B said...

Auckland New Zealand that is.

7/30/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

Pity I couldn't come, I'm filming in Los Angeles right now.
I have never been to NZ so it would have been great. Tell me more on the audience reactions. It's always nice to get response.

7/30/2007  
Blogger Will B said...

Fredrik, The response was great, quite a lot of Arcitect's from the Auckland region went and it was a full session. Our group liked the passion expressed by both Calatravas and Orback.

7/31/2007  
Blogger Fredrik Gertten said...

Thanks Will, I really appriciate your report from the screening. As you know New Zealand is far away, so it's great to know what happend.

8/01/2007  
Blogger Peter Henry USA said...

I have been looking for this film for many years now -- excellent. I am a developer and having constructed more then $600M in projects, this was a well crafted train wreck. Now I am going the see if WG will get me a copy.

Excellent.

1/13/2013  
Blogger Peter Henry USA said...

Excellent Film -- Have been looking to get a copy for many years now. As a developer of more the $600M in properties, I have lived though too many of these 'twists", and it is like watching a train wreck in slow motions.

Very well done -- I will contact WG films to see if i can get a copy

Best regards,

P Henry

1/13/2013  

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