This is a story of conversations that never took place and arrested developments; an adventurous tale, never yet fully told, whose protagonists include Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames and Yona Friedman, Bruno Munari and Frank Lloyd Wright, Giancarlo De Carlo and Ludovico Quaroni, Emilio Ambasz and Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce and Mario Bellini, Michele De Lucchi and Aldo Rossi, Superstudio and Andrea Branzi. What these diverse players have in common is a deep fascination for film, the medium of the modern age. As the extraordinary art of "seeing space", it is a tool that can be used to explore architecture and describe its principles and volumes from the inside, a device that can be deployed to visualise the contemporary metropolis. Reluctant to embrace the rules of the film industry and grasp the specificity of cinematic language, these architects/directors see the seventh art as a free arena, a terrain to explore without having to pay lip service to customs and rituals, a place for the wildest experiments.
Some elements are recurrent: the urgency of their accounts, their critical approach, their desire to recycle existing materials, their visionary momentum and conceptual attitude. While Le Corbusier and De Carlo used moving pictures to bring theoretical reflections already known to scholars and professionals to an audience of non-specialists, others - like Pesce, De Lucchi, Bellini and Branzi - adopted avant-garde models, rejecting the traditional dictates of discourse and the classic canons of communication. Others, like Acconci and Superstudio, use video to stage absurd, impossible projects.
In this original book edited by Vincenzo Trione we meet many architects for whom the cinema, in the words of Giulio Carlo Argan, is not just a "pure and simple system of knowledge", but a "newly established system of meaning", the "most structuring" of artistic techniques.