Koolhaas Houselife | Chicago Reader

Koolhaas Houselife

Rated NR 58 minutes

This brief documentary (2008) follows a maid as she cleans a sprawling home designed by architect Rem Koolhaas. Ila Beka's handheld camera emphasizes fleeting moments and off-the-cuff compositions, though ultimately the actual layout of the building remains a mystery. Instead Beka and codirector Louise Lemoine portray modern architecture as a series of problems that have to be tackled by the working class: everything in the house leaks, and most of its gadgets (including a rising floor and a keyless entrance) malfunction constantly. The film is playful but not very revealing, and the references to Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle can be a little too on-the-nose. In French with subtitles.

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