The Dream of Perfection
Dir. John Weiley
THE DREAM OF PERFECTION is as extraordinary as its provocative subject matter, the dramatic story of the building of the Sydney Opera House, culminating in Utzons departure from the project. Director John Weiley was commissioned in 1968 to make the documentary Autopsy on a Dream by then BBC2 controller David Attenborough, and following its only screening on the BBC, it was destroyed literally chopped to pieces on the chopping block. Miraculously, a mute print of Autopsy on a Dream was rediscovered in a BBC vault this year, and has now been restored with sound saved by John Weiley, and with a new prologue. The film features interviews with David Attenborough, Jan Utzon, Lin Utzon, and Richard Neville.
The Architecture of Mud
Dir. Caterina Borelli
Duration: 53 minutes
Language: English (subtitles)
The Hadhramaut region in the south east of Yemen is well known for its mud brick architecture. Throughout the centuries, the population has developed very sophisticated building techniques and created a unique architectural environment. Spectacular structures such as ten-story mud brick tower houses rise up from the valley's floor. In interviews throughout the documentary, the masons describe their working techniques and the challenges they face with the introduction of new, imported building materials. The Architecture of Mud documents the vernacular architecture, the building craft and the society they belong to.
This documentary is an archival record for the Yemenis - and for the world - of a stunning architectural environment that is rapidly disappearing. Because it describes construction practices that are almost obsolete, it will be a valuable tool also to other cultures where earthen architecture is traditional. It could assist in the preservation of adobe sites in the American Southwest, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Middle Eastern archaeological excavations. This program was first shown in the villages where it was made. The response was very positive and copies were donated to the collection of the National Museum and the local Museum of Hadhramaut. The Architecture of Mud is intended for universities with curricula in Cultural Heritage Preservation, Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, Middle East and Arabic Studies, and Visual Anthropology.