"An impressive work of art...
a must see!" Haaretz
This award-winning creative homage, illuminates the life of German Jewish Expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn. The visionary Mendelsohn, a contemporary of Walter Gropius and Miess van der Rohe, produced works that have influenced generations of architects. His story unfolds through the letter exchange with Louise, a beautiful young cellist , who became his wife. The director, Duki Dror, gently breathes life into the correspondence of two passionate artists who helped each other weather a turbulent time in history. Mendelsohn’s career followed the jagged trajectory of many German Jewish émigrés fleeing Nazism; he worked in England, Israel and finally, in the USA. Mendelsohn’s drawings pulsate with energy and his buildings are stunning. His earlier work, the Einstein Tower, is one of the most important exemplars of modern architecture. Dror deftly juxtaposes the architect’s original designs with contemporary images, weaving in reflections from architects and locals who use these unique buildings today - a testament to the integrity and timelessness of his visionary design.
"In March of 1933, German Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn fled Berlin, having been stripped of his membership in the Architects’ Union and foreseeing even graver consequences from Hitler’s rise to power. He and his wife, Louise, stepped off the train in Amsterdam and bumped into an acquaintance. Surprised at seeing the head of what was then Germany’s largest architectural firm in the Netherlands, the man asked Mendelsohn what he was doing there. The architect took a pencil out of his pocket and held it in the air.
“I’m relocating my office,” he shortly declared.
It wouldn't be the last time Mendelsohn would start over in a foreign land.
This revealing anecdote is recounted in Incessant Visions, a seductive and complicated new documentary from Israeli director Duki Dror [a short interview with the director follows this review]. The film melds the story of Mendelsohn’s many triumphs, from his rise as an architectural superstar in Berlin and his triumphant designs in the Middle East and America, to bitter disappointments in all the same places. The personal lives—Mendelsohn and his wife are presented here as equals—of these towering twentieth-century figures are explored, too, beyond the blueprints, from friendships with Albert Einstein and Frank Lloyd Wright to Louise’s affair with leftist German poet-politician Ernst Toller."
RossUfberg GALO ART MAGAZINE