Cathedrals of Cultural (2014, Karim Aïnouz, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin, Robert Redford, Wim Wenders)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

This is an omnibus film about various man-made architectural wonders in the world.

The first film, Olin’s, is a little too pseudo-profound for my liking, though beautiful (both in how it is shot and its score).

It’s Glawogger’s film of the library in St. Petersberg that is the real standout for me – juxtaposing quotes from Russian authors with the modern state of the library.

Madsen’s film is interesting – the prison itself is really interesting…fascinating really – but the narration is problematic, just as with Olin’s film.

Redford’s film manages to make a very ugly building look interesting and, at times, pretty. And his narration is well thought out – more concerned with the making of it than the other films.

Wenders’ film is again plagued by the narration that plagu’s Olin’s and Madsen’s film, though this time it’s more obvious. It’s still clunky.

Ainouz’s film takes the personification of building narration to even further heights than Maden’s and Wender’s and, for me, that makes it perhaps the weakest of the bunch.

There are a lots of pretty shots of pretty and interesting buildings, but this collection is extremely inconsistent because all but two of the filmmakers seem to have decided the only way we can watch films about buildings is if they are personified in clunky narration. I hate that, and the more of the films I watched, the more I couldn’t take it any more.

So if you find it on Netflix, only watch the two ones that aren’t so damn obvious.


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