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Paul Tunge

The religion of architecture.

The Architecture Player’s readers already know Paul Tunge for his "BAUTA" documentary, a lovesong for modernist buildings in Norway. For that film he let us known that his fellow director Egil Håskjold Larsen and he traveled along about 2500 kilometers in Norway, doing the planning and the shooting by themselves. For "AD ASTRA" the story is not very different: he went through about 1500 churches to select the 15 ones to shoot. In a way, "AD ASTRA" and "BAUTA" might look like two rather quiet and plain documentaries, but they made architecture the center of their investigations: two tributes for architecture lovers and enthusiasts from one of them.

And here the quietness is not just about the film: it is about the architecture too - "AD ASTRA" is a documentary on some of the most outstanding modernist churches in the country, so quietness is a quality of the object, in a word it is the soul of the film. Tunge and Egil Håskjold Larsen had quickly developed a signature style in these two films (note that "AD ASTRA" was shot before "BAUTA"): no word, an essential soundtrack, the churches merge one into the other, thanks to a simple but effective editing. Their films are enjoyable and a privileged way to learn more about a lesser-known modernist heritage. What’s more, they reflect a different and specific attitude towards religion.

A mix of well known and local architects makes the list of the appearances: among his favorites, Tunge enlists the Slettebakken Kirke ("by a local known architect, but amazing"), Ishavskatedralen in the North by Jan Inge Hover and St. Hallvard Katedralen by Lund and Slattoo.

Waiting for their new adventures in Norwegian architecture, please enjoy "AD ASTRA".

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Director: Egil Håskjold Larsen
Screenplay, editing, camera: Paul Tunge and Egil Håskjold Larsen
Architects: John Engh, Lund, Slattoo, Tore Sveram, Jan Inge Hoving, and others
Mentioned project: Haslum Krematorium, Slettebakken Kirke, Ishavskatedralen, St. Hallvard Katedralen, and others
Project location: Norway
Production: Paul Tunge and Egil Håskjold Larsen
Color grading, graphics: Mats Andersen

Norway 2016
Duration: 26'37"