Heinz Emigholz: The Airstrip


Thursday, October 29, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

German director Heinz Emigholz is renowned for a series of films on the buildings of Louis Sullivan, Adolph Loos, and Rudolf Schindler. With The Airstrip (2013), he weaves architectural study into a wide-ranging examination of the "concrete culture" of WWII and modernism's postwar embrace of the material. Touching down in Europe, the Americas, and the North Pacific Islands, Emigholz sets structures by the likes of Luis Barragán and Pier Luigi Nervi alongside the concrete remains of the Battle of Normandy, monuments to civilian casualties during the United States's brutal invasion of the island of Saipan, and the overgrown runway of Tinian, which served as the takeoff point for the planes that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. Followed by a discussion with Emigholz. Presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Chicago as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

2013, Heinz Emigholz, Germany, DCP, 108 min + discussion

Heinz Emigholz (1948, Achim, Germany) is an artist, director, writer, and producer. He trained as a draughtsman before studying philosophy and literature at the University of Hamburg. A major figure in German independent and experimental cinema, Emigholz has produced more than 90 long and short films, ranging from theatrical features to experimental documentary. Described by Variety as the "most accurate observer of architecture," Emigholz is dedicated to origins, the fate, the triumph, and end of architectural modernism. From 1993–2013 he served on the faculty of the Berlin University of the Arts. He has been the subject of numerous surveys and retrospectives internationally, most recently at the National Gallery in Washington, DC; Centro Cultural in São Paulo; Instituto Moreira Salle in Rio de Janeiro; and XV International Biennial of Architecture of Buenos Aires. His work is distributed by Pym Films and Filmgalerie 451.


Heinz Emigholz, still from The Airstrip, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Filmgalerie 451