Presented at various international festivals, the docufilm on Carlo Scarpa and his deep bond with Japan arrives in cinemas. We saw it in preview, in the company of the directors

The film by Silvia Siberini and Stefano Croci dedicated to Carlo Scarpa is entitled The Pavilion on the Water with a reference, already in the title, to that little pavilion, as he called it, which the architect designed for the Brion memorial.

A biopic that talks about Scarpa and his connection with Japan . A profound fascination, an intimate knowledge and also an indissoluble bond with a world so distant and so close that you can almost breathe it.

What is beauty? This is the question that accompanies the audience from the beginning to the end of the feature film, to coincide with an answer as long as the life of Carlo Scarpa and his work . We go to his places, those he created and those of his artisans, those he lived and those he loved to reflect on architecture, a possible declination of beauty.

«We wanted to bring the public into a meditative state», explains Stefano Croci, «to understand Scarpa's spaces. This is why we chose to call itThe pavilion on the water: that structure was designed by Scarpa to accommodate reflections on life and death before accessing the Brion tomb. Ours is a film about his teaching on what it means to make a work of art."

You will go to Japan to visit the Ise temple, a magical place, immersed in nature, which has existed for over a millennium, but which is rebuilt every 20 years, an emblem of that link between transience and eternity which in Japan has to do with the renewal of life and its present, together with a perpetual existence. Like a forest. Like water, like time.

You will go to Venice, a magical city made of water that flows, always new, along buildings from the history of man. We then visit the Brion memorial, an exceptional work and perhaps the synthesis of Scarpa's thought, a place where the Japanese philosopher Ryōsuke Ōhashi who takes part in the documentary film, felt at home: he perceived it as both near and far at the same time.

«Feeling together near and far is a concept of Japanese culture», explains Silvia Siberini, who after graduating in philosophy specialized in Oriental Cultures and Civilizations and in particular in the Japanese language, «it is a specific experience of perceiving two elements at the same time. And at the Brion tomb it translates into the experience of two dimensions, the western and the eastern, reunited in a single place".

That experience becomes the spectator's own who slowly enters into the slowness of a film about the time of two cultures so distant and so close, told throughspace.

«We filmed in Japan the same atmospheres present in Scarpa, the water, nature, the plants, the sounds created by the natural elements. There is a rhythm that is both musical and natural».

What is created is a world in which the visitor immerses himself. Exactly like in Scarpa's architecture: «The dimension that opens up in his architecture is that of listening. But it is a different listening, which must take place with all the senses, in understanding the total dimension of those who experience the spaces", explains Siberini again.

And she, together with Stefano Croci, to make this film, spent a long time in the places of the Venetian architect, they listened to them in different seasons, in different years with different lights, until they tamed them. Indeed, to domesticate oneself to those places and those lights, among reflections and plays of shadows.

Yes, the light. Or rather, the shadow. Can a space be defined thanks to the shadow? Scarpa's architecture is in fact made of cuts of light, of solids that impose narrow passages that illuminate a darkness, or determine a passage of water. But it is still the light that designs the exteriors, continually invited to play with the reflections they create in the bodies of water, or with the passage of time on their facades, capable of drawing the same design every time which, minutes later, will no longer be.

"There is a book much loved by Scarpa that we used as an attic and it is Libro d'ombra by Tanizali Jun'ichirō", explains Siberini. She then proceeds: «The Japanese word Kire indicates the cut. The cut between life and death, but in the aesthetic field has different applications, for example it is also used in Ikebana: the cut flower has another meaning than the one it had a moment before being cut. The same happens with light: a cut of light characterizes a shadowy space differently, as can be seen clearly in Japanese architecture".

And Scarpa? «We wanted to film all this, for example we did it in the Canova plaster cast gallery», replies Croci, where the sun on the moving water is reflected behind Canova's sculptures, as if to demonstrate Scarpa's architectural use of light. Who is precisely the architect of light".