After a year of debuts around the world on the festival circuit that culminated in a screening at this week’s ARCA in Uruguay’s Punta Del Este, “Plan for Buenos Aires,” a feature-length documentary on famed Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier from Argentina’s Gerardo Panero (“Amancio Williams”), is set for its television debut in Argentina with CineArTV.
Australian platform, Shelter Stream, has swooped on the title for a broader international release. Housing content made for design and architecture enthusiasts, was formed during the early stages of the pandemic by Australian actor Dustin Clare and his spouse, Camille. It features original content and expertly curated documentaries and series that capture the historically and aesthetically engaging.
Produced by Eliana Ponzano and Franco Carbone of Argentina’s Fueye Films (“Buscando La Sombra Del Pasado”), the doc-feature will also enjoy three screenings in Madrid at the Casa de las Américas, looking towards its television and streaming bow mid-year.
Panero previously launched his dive into Le Corbusier-adjacent Buenos Aires architect “Amancio Williams” with the service. The new deal solidifies the budding relationship, this time managing an engaging retrospective on a lofty urban plan that set out to revolutionize and center the burgeoning Latin American city.
“Le Corbusier is very important to the world of architecture. He was a character who had varying nuances,” Panero told Variety. “With the documentary, I tried to show how this figure, with so much weight in world architecture, also received rejections, had ups and downs, and suffered misunderstandings and roadblocks trying to advance his project. I wanted to show how, beyond the failures, it’s possible to pursue a dream.”
Not your typical documentary, the film provides a striking feeling of suspense that keeps an edge on each reveal, uncovering the depths of the architect’s obsession. Intriguing and full of dramatic twists, the plot thickens, the trail goes cold and then returns, picking up renewed steam.
A story of immense tenacity, “Plan For Buenos Aires” utilizes the knowledge of scholars, fellow architects and city planners to shed light on the years that unfolded between the architect’s first look towards the Buenos Aires shoreline to his last mumblings of forlorn contempt as his Casa Curutchet stands as the closest he came to bringing a project to life in the country.
“Le Corbusier’s relationship with Argentina spanned decades. There were stages of love and hate,” Panero relayed. “I tried to create a mystery with a common thread: the dream of being able to carry out a modern urban plan for Buenos Aires, all the while uncovering the relationships he had with different Argentine characters and how those relationships changed over the years.”
In the end, a successful and renowned figure who mingled and negotiated with Argentina’s bourgeois and took an unrelenting chance on a lofty vision had solid ideas for urban revitalization that provide partial answers to the ever-discussed woes of big city living to this day.
“Modern architecture, and Le Corbusier’s urbanistic ideas, faced a lot of rejection all over the world. Sometimes it was justified, and other times the ideas were just ahead of their time,” Panero lamented. “It’s interesting to recall his proposals and concerns, many remedy current issues, such as the lack of green space and the time people spend moving around these big cities.”