Gaudi's Barcelona [DVD]
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Think of Barcelona and you think of Gaudi the spooky gothic shapes of the Casa Battlo, the seaweed balconies of La Pedrera and above all, the unfinished masterpiece that is La Sagrada Familia. The genius who dreamed up all these fantasies was a reclusive eccentric who rarely and reluctantly left his native Catalonia. Gaudi's Barcelona tells the stories of the extraordinary buildings as well as the remarkable man. As a young man, Gaudi was beset by illness, nervous and tongue-tied. Too timid to declare his feelings, he missed his one chance of love, with an older, worldly-wise beauty. Gaudi was an ascetic, saintly man who had a less than saintly temper. Throughout his life he was driven by a rigid determination to get his way. This determination saw him arguing with clients, walking out on jobs and eventually forgoing society as he receded into religious fervour which bordered on fanaticism. For Gaudi, God was the only client who mattered, so the last years of his life were not just spent working on the Sagrada Familia but living there too. Gaudi so neglected himself that when he was hit by a tram in a fatal road accident he was mistaken for a homeless tramp by the passers-by and ambulance men who went to his aid. Yet Gaudi left a legacy which has thrilled visitors to Barcelona for decades since. This documentary features a range of contributors, including a fashion model, scholarly professor and the top designer Antoni Miro, who all share a love and admiration for the man whose unique fantasies still bring pleasure to millions today.