Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Valencia Opera House

Once upon a time, before I stumbled into filmmaking (oh what a stumble), I was going to be an architect. I took a lot of math, calc, physics and art in college; I was going to transfer into an architecture program after two years but followed a girl into a BA in Art instead. But still, I studied architecture for a semester abroad in Copenhagen my senior year, and I planned to go for my M. Arch. after graduation. Why that didn't happen, and how I ended up getting an MFA in film at NYU (where I met Josh) is another boring story and not important here – the point is I've always had a deep interest in architecture, and I still do. And I always felt that my detour into film – and more specifically cinematography – was not necessarily such a sharp turn. Both film and architecture are experienced in four dimension, and each comes into existence at an intersection of both technical and artistic practice.

In 2008 I was hired to film the recording sessions and create promos for a new opera of Wuthering Heights at the Opera House in Valencia, Spain, designed by vanguard architect Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava is one of the two or three most visionary architects working in the field today, and this building has to be seen to be believed. More like an organism or a giant alien starship than manmade structure, it is part of a larger complex called City of Arts and Sciences, all of it designed Calatrava, and equally fantastic in its entirety. When you see it, it's almost hard to believe it exists in our world, and not in some science fiction film. None of this footage made it into the promos, so recently I decided to put something together which I hope reveals the Opera House in some of its outrageous splendor.

Valencia Opera House from Interstate Films on Vimeo.