“Plans for Buenos Aires,” a feature-length documentary on famed Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier from Gerardo, Argentina, makes its world debut a year later with a screening at this week’s ARCA in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Panero (“Amancio Williams”), set to make his television debut in Argentina with CineArTV.
Australian platform, Shelter Stream, brought the title to a wider international release. Housing content created for design and architecture enthusiasts, Australian actor Dustin Clare and his wife, Camille, created it during the early stages of the pandemic. It features original content and expertly curated documentaries and series that capture the historical and aesthetically compelling.
Produced by Eliana Ponzano and Franco Carbone (“Buscando la sombra del pasado”) of Argentina’s Fuay Films, the doc-feature will enjoy three screenings at the Casa de las Americas in Madrid, looking toward its television and streaming bow midway through the year.
Panero previously launched his dive with services at the Le Corbusier-adjacent Buenos Aires architect “Amancio Williams”. The New Deal cemented the emerging relationship, this time running a compelling precedent on a high urban plan centered on the revolutionizing and growing Latin American city.
“Le Corbusier is very important to the architectural world. He was a character that had different nuances,” Panero said diversity. “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 faced misunderstandings and obstacles trying to advance his project. I wanted to show, beyond failure, how it is possible to follow a dream.”
Not your typical documentary, the film provides a compelling sense of suspense that keeps an edge on every revelation, uncovering the depths of the architect’s obsession. Full of startling and dramatic twists, the plot thickens, the trail cools, and then returns, picking up new steam.
A story of immense tenacity, “Plan for Buenos Aires” draws on the wisdom of scholars, fellow architects and urban planners to shed light on the years that unfolded between the architect’s first look at the Buenos Aires coast and his final disdain. Casa Curruchet stands out as the closest people have come to bringing a project to life in the country.
“Le Corbusier’s relationship with Argentina spans decades. There were love and hate phases,” relayed Panero. “I tried to create a mystery with a common thread: the dream of being able to execute a modern urban plan for Buenos Aires, while uncovering his relationships with various Argentine characters and how those relationships changed over the years.”
Finally, a successful and celebrated figure who mingled and negotiated with the Argentine bourgeoisie and took an unrelenting opportunity for a higher vision, he had strong ideas for urban revitalization that to this day provide a partial answer to the ever-discussed predicament of big city living.
“Modern architecture, and the urbanist ideas of Le Corbusier, have faced a lot of rejection around the world. Sometimes it was fair, and other times the ideas were just ahead of their time,” Panero lamented. “His proposals and concerns are interesting to recall, remedial to many current problems, such as the lack of green space and the time people spend commuting around these big cities.”