INTerview: Lucas Bacle

The intersection between Architecture and Film has always been a topic of interest. Movies, such as High-Rise, have looked at Architectural concepts through a Narrative. Additionally, Interiors tries to look at Cinema through Architectural Drawings. However, is it possible to somehow combine Architectural Drawings and incorporate them into a Film Narrative? That's exactly what Lucas Bacle has tried to do with his latest project, Days of Zucco

Interiors spoke with Lucas Bacle about his philosophies and his latest Architectural Short Film, Days of Zucco

INT: Can you share some information about your background? How did you start making Architectural Films?

LB: Before I started my studies at the School of Landscape and Architecture of Bordeaux, I wanted to understand how every tiny thing in this world works, but I didn't know where to start. I chose Architecture. Not because I loved it, but because I had to choose. Then I started to learn. I learned the way to create a project from the beginning (the concept) to reality (the matter). The School of Architecture didn't teach me how to build a building, but how to think critically and, at the same time, become who I am. No matter what kind of Architecture School it was, a wall was broken inside of me. As I started to shape spaces, I started to make stories, intuitively, with no other idea than to do some kind of narrative poetry and to get people interested in what I was doing. Naturally, I started to film these stories by creating short films, not always in relation to Architecture. My final year project was introduced by a 7-minute movie. This project was the first time that I succeeded in connecting Video and Architecture without being too literal. I saw that a bridge could be built. I wanted to create a connection between Film and Architecture. The jury congratulated me for this project. One of the people in the jury was interested to work with me on doing films for his own Architectural projects. He was Xavier Leibar, from the Architectural Studio Leibar&Seigneurin. He allowed my work to become professional. 

One year later, I created brumm.

Brumm is the acronym of “building research of unbuilt matter”. The second “m” does not exist really; it is connected to the other one creating “mm” which is the symbol of the bridge between architecture and cinema, which is the logo of brumm. Brumm wants to talk about life happening every day inside the "unbuilt matter".

INT: Most of your earlier works are a collection of Architectural Documentaries about various projects by Leibar & Seigneurin. Can you talk about what you were trying to accomplish with these films?

LB: I created brumm to build a connection between Architecture and Cinematography and, in the end, to build a bridge between the Architectural World and People. The future of our cities is actually in the hands of the financial system and the political world. My work is about transmitting the Architectural and Urbanism culture so that the citizen can understand the world around him/her and make it change.

Why do people not care about Architecture?

I think it’s maybe because of the Architects, who don’t help people understand what they do. They cultivate a kind of mysticism of the Architectural thought. The biggest Architects in the world work for the most powerful people and not for the masses. As an architect, I think we've made a mistake. The democratic crisis which we are in will one day give power to the people. We have to be transparent with them. This is why I did this movie.

INT: Your latest Short Film, Days of Zucco, was a project filmed at the Vertou Cultural Center and was based on the play, Roberto Zucco, by Bernard-Marie Koltès. How did this film come about and what made you want to develop this project?

LB: Days of Zucco is an experimental piece, an Architectural fiction. This is a radical short movie which tries to set a way to do this type of movie. In the same way the Director Lars Van Trier created Dogma, I wanted to build a protocol which would allow me to call my film an Architectural Fiction.

- The Scenario of the Film follows the Building, its Form and its Structure.
- There is no other Decor than the inside or the outside the Building.
- The Building and Architectural discourse are in the second narrative level.
- The human stories are the guiding theme

INT: Your film, Days of Zucco, includes several scenes where an Architectural Drawing (Site Plan, Elevation, Floor Plan and Section) is inserted to create a type of establishing shot for the audience. Where did the idea to include actual drawings of the building come from?

LB: As I tried to connect these two worlds, it was obvious for me to use Architectural Drawings in the Film. Only Engineers and Architects use them but I think they are really powerful and could be used to create stories.

Days of Zucco (2016)

INT: There is a brilliant moment in the film when the main character, Colas Jardot, is being called and a Floor Plan is shown as he’s walking towards a room. What was your thought process when deciding which drawings would be shown and where they would be placed?

LB: Since I first thought to use these drawings, I wanted to connect it to the stories of the film. I didn't want to put it somewhere just for graphical reasons. The more one enters in the narration of the movie, the more the building expresses itself with the Architectural drawing and the more one can understand it. It was really interesting to give life and scale to those, always still, drawings of a building. To be honest, I did a lot more Architectural drawings for the film than what is in the film. It was during the editing process that I chose to let people discover it piece by piece.

INT: Do you see this technique expanding? Do you have any goals in terms of work you’d like to do and projects you’d like to try?

LB: I have worked on a lot of projects since this Film and one of them is enabling me to develop these techniques. I'm doing a project for the City of Bordeaux where I am directing a short film entirely with these techniques. I want to connect the use of this technique with a real narrative and these projects allow me to do that. I'm also creating a series about Architecture. With this series, we want to do Architectural mediation by explaining how it works in our Architectural and urban world. We use humor as a medium to spread our ideas. At first it will be visible on YouTube and possibly other sites. 

On the one hand, I want to find my own art between Cinema and Architecture. On the other hand, I want to permit people to understand the way our Cities, Landscapes, Countries and World are, so that they can change it and make it look like theirs.