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La Cupola

Filmmaker : Volker Sattel Germany, 2016 PRODUCTION : Volker Sattel
German, Italian English, French

About this film


The portrait of a house without supporting walls. A bold dome made of concrete, an open space — right in the middle of the bizarre rock formations of a rugged coast made of reddish granite. The house belonged to actress Monica Vitti and director Michelangelo Antonioni. The emptiness of the "cupola" and the deserted quality of the site are the starting point for speculating — seemingly at random, figures wind up in the image and enter the dome, and even today, the utopia of an alternative concept of living seems to float above its form.

Tënk's opinion

It is by discreet paths that we approach the futuristic building. At first glance a slightly dilapidated blockhouse, it reveals itself as a light structure and luminous space, a privileged viewpoint over the vast sea... It is from the encounter between the architect Dante Bini, inventor of the habitable concrete hull which became famous under the name of "Binishell", and the couple Antonioni - Vitti that this dome, a place of holiday and work ("Zabriskie Point" would have been written here), a time of refuge for the filmmaker and his muse, was born at the end of the 1960s. Bini's ingenious construction method combined with Antonioni's demands for windows whose dimensions are reminiscent of Panavision 2.35, the maestro's favorite format, will allow Antonioni to benefit both from a bulwark to the outside, his climatic and political fury, and an unimpeded interior space. Beyond the simple revelation of a footnote in the history of cinema, "La Cupola", in its very approach, invites us to meditate on the need for distance and respect for the private sphere, both personal and artistic.

Jürgen Ellinghaus


Volker Sattel

Volker Sattel was born in 1970 in Speyer am Rhein, Germany. He studied directing and photography at the Baden-Würtemberg Film Academy in Ludwigsburg between 1993 and 1999. Since then, he has directed and produced documentaries that have been shown at festivals and on television, as well as other art projects with Olaf Nicaolai and Daniel Klein, musician Tim Elzer (don't dolby/Cologne) and author Mario Mentrup, with whom he co-founded the company Vakant Film in 2005. Sattel's work has received several awards, including the Schnittpreis of the VG Bild-Kunst in Bonn and the Gerd Ruge scholarship, both won in 2011 for the film "Under Control - An Archaeology of Nuclear Power". In 2013, he was a researcher at the Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto with Stefanie Gaus, with whom he directed the film "Beyond Metabolism" (2014).