Two Basilicas

  • Heinz Emigholz
  • 2018
    • Germany
    • Denmark
  • 36 min
  • Colour
  • Production
  • Heinz Emigholz Filmproduktion (www.pym.de)

This short film belongs to the "Photography and Beyond " series in which Heinz Emigholz examines, in formally rigorous and descriptive shots, artistic and notably architectural creativity. Two Basilicas creates a dialogue between two Christian edifices: the Catholic Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Orvieto and the Protestant Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen. The magnificent alternating shots of the two edifices built at different times very soon wrench us away from the tourist’s vision and hone our gaze. Devoid of commentary, the static shots – at times reminiscent of Cubist perspectives – bring out the main lines of two creations that took different paths, although originating from the same architectural archetype: a generous and profuse assemblage of the different arts and crafts in the Italian basilica, where the human form is omnipresent in the mosaics of the façade with its sculptures, bas-reliefs and paintings; the imposing bulk of Grundtvig, built over several decades in a single local material, its yellow bricks embodying the spirit of Gothic monuments from the past. Gradually, the contrast shifts, not between North and South, but between the austere exterior of the Protestant church and the gentleness of its interiors criss-crossed by astonishing twists (the spiral staircase). The soundscape reminds us that the static shot is not equivalent to filmed photography (this is the “beyond” of the series’ title): both buildings, one built in the city centre, the other on the outskirts, are the result of different relationships to religion and community. (Charlotte Garson)