Koolhaas' Career in Film: 1,2,3 Group

Before studying architecture at the Architectural Association in London, Rem Koolhaas embarked on a short but fruitful career in film as a member of 1,2,3 Group, a youthful band of five who shared different roles in front of and behind the camera in a kind of anti-auteur cinema.

The first film produced by the group came from the longtime friendship between Rem and scriptwriter and director Rene Daalder, who along with Jan de Bont, Frans Bromet and Samuel Meyering produced 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), a short film which featured Koolhaas as an actor in some scenes and a cameraman in others.

After 1,2,3 Rhapsody, Daalder wrote and directed several short films, bringing him some recognition and eventually the opportunity to shoot his first feature film – The White Slave (1969) – whose script was co-written by Koolhaas. As described by Daalder, The White Slave was "a provocative allegory about the decline of European civilization, riffing on B-movie genre films and Buñuelesque non-sequiturs."

According to Koolhaas himself, the shift in his career happened aged 24. At the request of his friend, who was studying architecture at the University of Delft, Koolhaas presented a speech about his films to an architecture class, and says that standing before a room full of architecture students, he "realized that he wanted to switch places with his audience."

Screenshot from 1,2,3 Rhapsody

Looking back one can clearly see that this early experience in film has influenced his path in architecture; his scripts continue to be written both in his books and in his buildings, as he says that in both film and architecture "you are considering episodes, and you have to construct the episodes in a way that is interesting and makes sense or is mysterious."

ArchDaily would like to thank Rene Daalder who kindly allowed the publication of his films.

References: The Architecture Foundation and The New York Times

About this author
Cite: Baratto, Romullo. "Koolhaas' Career in Film: 1,2,3 Group" [A carreira de Koolhaas no cinema: 1,2,3 Group] 17 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/568281/koolhaas-career-in-film-1-2-3-group> ISSN 0719-8884

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