Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Immateriality and myth in Kusturica’s film

This picture has been downloaded from Kusturica's web page.

A literal example of immateriality in architecture is taken from the “ethno cinema”, precisely a scene in Emir Kusturica’s movie “Times of the Gypsies”.
In this case, the arrangement of furniture and family relationships strongly trascend the house that harbors them, which is transformed into an useless “shell”, when the old Gypsie grandmother’s son, in a contemptuous reaction, rises the house with a cable and leaves it suspending, floating in a carnivalesque context, atop its original location.
Curiously, what the “interior space” has been, does not lose its spatial quality and family relationships added to the Gypsies negotiations, are kept in day-to-dayness, regardless of the house pending on their heads. It is funny to discover that the pet, a turkey, does not take the opportunity to escape. It just keep on bouncing among furnitures…….
The movie also features folks beliefs; Kusturica blends reality with fantasy in a barroque atmosphere. Continuing with the example, Perhan, the teenager character, when explaining how limestone (a construction material) is made, to the Gypsie girl Azra, he coldly first exposes technology “The temperature is the most important element. If you can keep the fire hot, the limestone won’t bake properly. Fire is the heart of it…………” (See Goran Gocic, page 13). Immediately, he changes the argument and explains it under a Myth: “Grandma says that limestone is the brother of Mother Stone. But Mother Forest and Mother Stone quarrelled. Mother Forest then bit off Mother Stone’s breast. That is why lime is as white as milk.” (See Goran Gocic, page 13).
Perhan has related experience to myth. It is obvious that for the minimal element in a construction, one may apply a mythical meaning that is beyond tectonics. Thy myth is the vehicle for a normative rule: the house construction.
Fig. above Scene from “Times of the Gypsies” (downloaded from Kusturica’s web page)
The pet also is part of the human relationships
“Ethno cinema” is defined by Goran Gocic as a non-western art-house cinema with strong elements of indigenous worldviews –with their respective cultural circles seen together with artistic heritage, pre-modern costums and “exotic” settings.

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Immateriality and myth in Kusturica’s film by Myriam B. Mahiques is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


A silver gypsy's house in Romania - © Photo Kisa Lala 2011

¨Walk anywhere in a straight line and pretty soon you'll cross a gate, a fence, a road or come to the end of a field and reach the beginning of a town. It's hard to get lost when every inch of soil is mapped and watched through the cross-hairs of Google earth. Like the pirates of the seas, the Gypsies claim the right to rove. To travel on land is to move through pathways followed by border crossings that only birds ignore because they perch wherever they land. The Gypsies have learned to do the same.¨
From the article by Kisa Lala: The new nomads

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