Architecture is often ascribed a mysterious affinity with cinema. Yet in practice, filming architecture is far from easy. First and foremost: scale. How can one reconcile the extraordinary pleasure, the monumental effect of architecture – with the love of detail, the subtle effect of cinema? Then there is the issue of movement. Whereas one may say that architecture is static, balanced in its nature, film is the product of constant movement. Places that are laid out in an organic way upon encountering them become labyrinthine as soon as one tries to render them into a two-dimensional image onscreen.
Last but not least, architecture and film diverge in their meaning, for architecture is function, while cinema is fiction. Far from being some rosy idyllic venture, the unembellished confrontation between architecture and film constantly poses the very question of cinema.
Stan Neumann was born and raised in Prague before moving to France to study and work as a film editor. In 1989, he began directing his own films, including Paris, roman d’une ville (1990), The Last Marranos (1991), Nadar, photographer (1994), A House in Prague (1997), Apparatchiks and Businessmen (2000), The Language Doesn’t Lie, (2004), Stargazer (2009), and Austerlitz (2014). In addition to his own work, Stan has partnered with Richard Copans in the creation of the Arte film collection entitled Architectures, initiated in 1994. In 2008, Stan created another film collection for Arte entitled Photo.