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Innenhof NAG Fabrik Peter Behrens - Still aus Dokumentarfilm

Documentary about Peter Behrens Going All Around the World

Product design and architecture are probably the two art forms that we encounter most frequently in everyday life. Everyone has heard the names Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or Le Corbusier before. All three have one thing in common: the painter, designer, typographer and architect Peter Behrens, who was born in Hamburg in 1868. He was their employer in his office and had a decisive influence on their later work. The autodidact Behrens is regarded as a pioneer of objective architecture and, through his creative work for AEG before the First World War, also industrial design. The documentary film produced by mindnapped about Peter Behrens’ life has been shown at festivals and exhibitions all over the world since its release in 2015.

Only known documentary about Peter Behrens

Director Alexander Lorenz and interior designer Angela Lorenz presented the world’s first portrait film about this autodidactic multi-talent with “Peter Behrens – Vom Skizzenblock zum Alexanderplatz” in 2015. In this film, they talk to contemporary witnesses and connoisseurs of his work – including Behrens´ grandson Till – and show scenes from the preparation of the exhibition “Peter Behrens and the Diversity of Design”, for which models of Peter Behren’s works were produced. In addition, the film presents early works by the painter Behrens and a large number of Behrens’s buildings. Many of which have survived the test of time to this day and are now often being used completely differently than they were originally intended to be.

modellbauszene peter behrens

Student of the PBSA in Düsseldorf building a Behrens model for the exhibition

Architecture & product design as autodidact

Peter Behrens began as an artist creating landscape painting. He would move on creating industrial paintings later on. A call to the artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt by the Hessian Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig to design a villa including interior were his entry into the world of architecture and product design. His life continued living in Düsseldorf and Berlin, where he left numerous traces of his creative work.

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Unusual film technique – extraordinary pictures

The architectural shots were shot with tilt/shift optics, which are commonly used in architectural photography. This technique counteracts the usual falling lines, resulting in unusually intense images and an overall exceptional film experience.

Peter Behrens Mannesmannhaus in Düsseldorf - Außenaufnahme

Tilt/Shift photo of Behrens’ Mannesmannhaus in Düsseldorf

 

Worldwide at festivals and as VoD

“Peter Behrens – Vom Skizzenblock zum Alexanderplatz” has attracted much attention at numerous festivals around the world – including Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and the Architecture Film Festival in Santander. In 2018, the anniversary year of Peter Behrens’ 150th birthday, the film was shown several times in public and was shown for more than 5 months at the major Behrens exhibition in Nuremberg at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Also in 2019 it was part of the film series “Architecture and Film” on the topic “Form follows Function” and was shown in four cities in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Due to the unbroken interest in the only biographical documentary film about Peter Behrens, we have decided to make the film available on Vimeo as video-on-demand. We hope to be able to inspire even more people with Peter Behrens and his life’s work in the future.

Trailer of „Peter Behrens – Vom Skizzenblock zum Alexanderplatz“

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