“How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster?” – a documentary film about the life and work of architect Norman Foster
The filmmakers Norberto López-Amado and Carlos Carcas present a documentary based on the life and work of the architect Norman Foster. Norman Foster will attend the premiere at the festival as a guest of honor and will participate in a debate on the future of cinema and urban space.
The Spaniard Norberto Lopez-Amado (Nos miran, 2002) and the North American Carlos Carcas (Old Man Bebo, 2008) directed this documentary, which was produced by Art Commissioners (art advisory and film production company led by Elena Ochoa) in association with Aiete Ariane Films (a production company led by Imanol Uribe and Andrés Santana). This film is an ambitious project of international scope, produced in Britain and Spain and filmed in over 10 countries over the course of the last two years.
How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster? traces the rise of one of the most iconic architects of the century in his quest to improve the quality of life through design. Portrayed are Foster’s origins as well as how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the Swiss Re Tower in London, the Reichstag in Berlin, the Hearst Building in New York and other projects such as the new airport in Beijing and the largest bridge in the world in Millau, France. Foster’s most innovative project, City Masdar (Abu Dhabi), is a unique experiment in sustainability where Foster seeks to respond to the complex and unsustainable future of cities, an idea that was conceived in an attempt to change the concept of urbanism.
The documentary is written and narrated by Deyan Sudjic, Director of the London Design Museum and one of the most celebrated writers and critics of architecture in the world. It portrays some of the most extraordinary structures of our time. Architecture comes alive. The buildings are photographed in a cinematic style that aims to bring the spectacular nature of their size and scale to the big screen. With both an aesthetic and documentary value, this film speaks not only to specialists and design enthusiasts but to anyone who has ever been touched by a piece of art.
The project emerged from the idea of the executive producer, Antonio Sanz, who has a multi-faceted career in the world of art as a photographer, film director, scriptwriter and curator of prestigious international exhibitions. Sanz’s close collaboration with Elena Ochoa’s publishing company led to the proposal of this project: publishing a book with moving images – a film exhibition on the work of one of the greatest contemporary architects.
During the past few years the company Art Commissioners, has focused on the commissioning and promotion of art exhibitions, has undertaken the international commissions of contemporary artists such as Richard Long, Anish Kapoor, Sol Lewitt and Cai Guo-Qiang. ‘How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster? is the first feature film focused on the architect Norman Foster and can be considered the beginning of a series of productions on the key figures of art and culture of the XXI century,’ says Elena Ochoa C.E.O. of Art Commissioners.
The production of the film lasted for more than two years, ‘a slow, rigorous and demanding creation process, to draw the conclusion that less is more’, as Norman learned from Buckminster Fuller (one of his mentors), “which becomes the exact metaphor for this project.” Director Norberto López-Amado explains: ‘We wanted to shoot architecture like no one has ever done before, understanding the buildings in such a way that they could be explained without any words, caressing every part of them with the care and detail required to make the public feel and understand them.’
The film was produced with the support of ICAA (Spanish Institute of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Arts)