September 5, 2012
The first thing one notices of Tomas Koolhaas’s newest short film—really a clip, taken from Rem, his full length feature about his father—is the conspicuous absence of our central protagonist. Apart from a brief glimpse of Rem (in hard hat) surfacing from the depths of OMA’s on-going ‘De Rotterdam‘ project to survey the prospective horizon, the architect is entirely missing from the proceedings. Instead, Koolhaas the filmmaker chooses to frame the toil of the complex’s builders in an effort to capture the “raw condition[s]” of the construction site—articulated here as both gritty work (concrete pouring, paving, spraying) and the kinship that forms from shared back-breaking labor.
The clip juxtaposes the moody, yet frank footage against a frenetic score of wheezy syncopated beats, which accurately conveys the electric staccato of the building site while muting all of its unfocused clamor. Taken together with the previous two snippets Koolhaas has released, it’s clear that the polished production and pointed critique of the finished film will be a far cry from the quiet, sentimental poignancy associated with the architect-”biodoc”, as best exemplified by Nathanial Kahn’s My Architect. Needless to say, we’re excited.
Architizer caught up with Tomas Koolhaas to ask him about the project and what it’s like to accompany his father to work. Click through for the interview.
De Rotterdam complex; Rendering: OMA
De Rotterdam complex under construction