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Goff in the Desert (Goff in der Wueste)

Goff in the Desert
Al Struckus House from "Goff in the Desert" (photo © Filmgalerie 451/Heinz Emigholz 2003)

Goff in the Desert, part seven in the Photography and beyond series, presents 62 buildings from the American architect Bruce Goff (1904-1982) – from the smallest cottage to an impressive museum pavilion – and is the only cinematographic collection of almost all of his buildings still in existence. Bruce Goff is considered to be one of the “greatest unknowns” of American architecture. As a determined experimenter, his works and designs were often in significant contrast to the "International Style" movement, and the controversies surrounding his works have since become legendary. Almost all of his buildings created a shock and introduced new, previously unknown possibilities to the world of architecture. Heinz Emigholz’s film, shot in the spring of 2002 on a 9,200-mile trip across the USA, is a congenial approach to Goff’s works.

Photography and beyond is a series of films about art and design – "projections" that become visible as writings, drawings, photography, architecture and sculpture. Goff in the Desert is the third film of a subgroup entitled Architecture as Autobiography, the first two of which dealt with buildings of Louis H. Sullivan and Robert Maillart. The first six films in the Photography and beyond-series were presented in the KINO Magzines 2/2001 and 4/2001.

Heinz Emigholz was born in 1948 near Bremen. He trained as a draftsman and studied Philosophy and Literature in Hamburg. Since 1973, he has worked as an independent filmmaker, artist, writer and producer in Germany and the USA. In 1974 he started his encyclopaedic drawing series THE BASIS OF MAKE-UP. He looks back on numerous exhibitions, retrospectives, lectures and publications. In 1984 he started his film series PHOTOGRAPHY AND BEYOND. He has held a professorship in Experimental Filmmaking at the Universität der Künste Berlin since 1993, and co-founded the Institute for Time-based Media and the Art and Media program there. A selection of his highly-acclaimed films includes: SCHENEC-TADY I-III (1973-1975), ARROWPLANE (1974), TIDE (1974), HOTEL (1976), DEMON (1977), NORMALSATZ (1981), THE BASIS OF MAKE-UP I-III (1983-2004), DIE WIESE DER SACHEN (1987), DER ZYNISCHE KÖRPER (1990), SULLIVAN’S BANKS (2000), MISCELLANEA I-III (2001-2004), GOFF IN THE DESERT (2003), D'ANNUNZIO’S CAVE (2005), SCHINDLER’S HOUSES (2007), LOOS ORNAMENTAL (2008), SENSE OF ARCHITECTURE (2009), PARABETON-PIER LUIGI NERVI AND ROMAN CONCRETE (2012), PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA (2012), TWO MUSEUMS (2013), and STREETSCAPES (2017). More at
Genre Art, Educational, History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2003
Director Heinz Emigholz
Screenplay Heinz Emigholz
Cinematography Heinz Emigholz
Heinz Emigholz, Wilfried Reichart
Producers Irene von Alberti, Frieder Schlaich
Production Company Filmgalerie 451, in cooperation with WDR
Length 110 min
Format 35 mm, color
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Berlin 2003 (Forum), Viennale 2003, New Zealand Film Festival 2003
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg

World Sales (please contact)
Filmgalerie 451 Filmproduktion OHG
Irene von Alberti, Frieder Schlaich
Saarbrücker Str. 24
10405 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-33 98 28 00
fax +49-30-33 98 28 10