Man with Modern Nerves
A pyramid, by no means static, is instead brought to ever-increasing movement by the use of camera motion, cuts and fades. The cinematic illusion jumbles the individual elements and unites them in a symbolic sketch of Adolf Loos´ dynamic thought processes. A High Speed Journey through the spinal cord of this revolutionary architect.
The model used in this animated rhythmic fantasy is based on sketches of terraced Mexican pyramids done by Adolf Loos in 1923 for a design for a city hall in Mexico. Known for the purity and simplicity of his style, Adolf Loos is one of the pioneers of modern architecture. This film was conceived without narration.
(The Roland Collection, London & New York)
Many filmmakers have filmed and cinematically portrayed the city, but only a few have worked with the architectual material itself. With that in mind, the case of the Viennese directors Bady Minck and Stefan Stratil is quite exemplary. For their film The Man with Modern Nerves, they built a model based on sketches by the architect Adolf Loos, which he had originally designed in 1923 for a city-hall project in Mexico-City. The step-pyramid of his sketches is not only animated in their mise en scène, but becomes involved in an abstract game of geometric forms, light and shadows, reminiscent of certain films of the 20ies, like Oskar Fischinger’s „Orgelstäbe“. More than just an animation of the model, the film reveals Adolf Loos‘ architectual concepts of surface and the volume of space.
(Jean-Michel Bouhours „La ville et le cinéma“, éditions Centre Pompidou Paris 1994)