A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to have access to the short film “…Would Have Been My Last Complaint” created by Camille Lacadée (see her guest writer essay as an inventory for this project) and François Roche for their [eIf/bʌt/c] (Institute for Contingent Scenarios) with the collaboration of Ezio Blasetti, Stephan Heinrich and a small team of people from all over the world (see the credits at the end)
The film is now visible online (see also at the end of this article) which will allow many viewers to consider a work in which neither architecture nor cinema is “enslaved” to the other, but rather they collaborate at their best. The architecture itself has been thought and built by the film’s team, but could not really unfold its essence without the narrative and expressive means developed by the film.
The story introduces an erudite Brahman on the Karnataka shore who seems to combine his passion for books and the study of Sanskrit with a sort of primal relationship to the mineral and living world surrounding him. In this regard, the “devil’s trap”, the architecture presented in the movie appears as a product of this tension between the mineral, the bios (life), and the logos (word/speech) more than a human artifact. For this reason, it shares some similitude with the paradigmatic monolith of Stanley Kubrick in 2001, A Space Odyssey, and just like it, a form of trouble emanates from it. In …Would Have Been My Last Complaint, this trouble eventually materialize by the ‘attack’ of the villagers who see in it and in the Brahman the unbearable source of forces that they cannot understand. One will not miss to see in it an allegory of architecture (or art in general for that matter) for which a strong reactionary antagonism can be often observed when confronted to something moving and powerful.
Cinematographically speaking, the influence of Apichatpong Weerasethakul is strong in the quasi-animist vision of the jungle as well as the architecture itself that seems to have a life of its own. Camille Lacadée and François Roche are indeed both (mostly) based in Bangkok and in this regard, one might want to read F. Roche’s last essay for LOG 27, Le Pari(s) de BKK that compares (with the help of amazing photographs) the French capital with the Thai one.
In conclusion, I would like to stress again the importance of the fusion between two creative disciplines, cinema and architecture. Our era is truly Deleuzian in the sense that it attempts to approach one discipline through a spectrum that borrows many elements from others; in this case, however, we can witness the first item of a series of architectures/films (we might need to invent a word for them) that categorically refuse to manifest themselves within the norms of one category or another. I, for one, look very much forward to see the next ones!
…Would Have Been My Last Complain credits:
“A mind illusion’s fab for a ritual’s report”
The movie title: “… Would Have Been My Last Complaint” /
The shell-ter title: “Devil Trap”
Scenario, production, Camille Lacadee (movie), Francois Roche (shelter) / [eIf/bʌt/c] / Design process, Computation, Ezio Blasetti /
Robotic Design, Special effects, Stephan Henrich / Sound design, Myrtille Fakhreddine, Devin Jernigan / Making-of, Danielle Willems
Computation, fabrication, construction, Mark-Henry Jean Decrausaz, Cameron David Newnham, Mark Kowalyov, Peeraya Suphasidh
Camera, Suthiwat Yanawiboot
Storyboard, Pim Jular
Model & props, Pajareeya Suriwong, Nichapatara Swangdecharux Machinism special design, Cheng Yu Ling
Shooting schedule & organization, Wachira Leangtanom
Making-of assistant, Pantira Unarat
Historical research assistant, Natreeya Kraichitti
Community negotiation assistant, Lila Tedesco
Production assistants, Arisa Juengsophonvitavas, Papat Jinaphun, Javed Godkin Paul de Costa, Nicha Laptaveepanya, Nuthapong Jiratiticharoen, Benjawan Lamsa-ard, Tachapol Danaboonchai, Suthata Jiranuntarat, Yanisa Chumpolphaisal, Jenwit Narukatphichai, Permpoon Rojanasakul
Sri Ganapati Vedeshwar, Elias Tabet (Pandrata Circle), Sanjeen SingPawat, Gwyl Jahn
Manjunath & Co, Engineer,
Ravi N.Pattegar, Civil Engineer Contractor