BY MICHAEL PASQUIER
I’m always looking for documentaries to screen in my classes. Zack Godshall’s latest film “God’s Architects” will definitely find a spot in my syllabus next semester. Godshall, currently writer-in-residence in LSU's Department of English, was recently named the 2009 Louisiana Filmmaker of the Year by the New Orleans Film Society. He’s also the co-writer and director of the film “Low and Behold” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. DVDs of “God’s Architects” are available for purchase at the film’s website. Check out the trailer and read the synopsis and backstory below.
God's Architects is a documentary that tells the stories of five divinely inspired artist-architects and their enigmatic creations.The film details how and why these oft-marginalized creators, with neither funding nor blueprints, construct their self-made environments.
In the spring of 2005, Emilie Taylor, then a graduate student at the Tulane School of Architecture, received a travel grant to research and document self-taught and visionary builders around the south. After visiting and documenting a number of builders, most of whom professed some degree of divine inspiration, Emilie shared her findings with filmmaker Zachary Godshall. Immediately attracted by Taylor's stories, drawings, and photographs, Godshall decided to visit the builders himself.
And so in November 2005, Godshall set out from south Louisiana with a camera, tripod, and microphone to interview and document the work of Floyd Banks Jr., a divinely inspired castle builder living in the east Tennessee hill country.
Three years later, Godshall completed a feature-length film that both examines and celebrates the work of Banks along with four other solitary builders who have constructed similar monuments. Beyond the builders and their work, the film functions as a personal essay that explores the nature of inspiration and one's dedication to a creative project, no matter how absurd or mysterious the circumstances may seem.