At the request of Sigfried Giedion, László Moholy-Nagy agreed to film a documentary of the 1933 International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) whose participants were traveling by ship from Marseilles to Athens and back, spending several days in Greece. Financed by the CIAM, the film Architects' Congress was intended to spread the word. It seems doubtful that the film, lasting just short of thirty minutes, was adequate to the task. The focus of the atmospheric images is less on the issue of modern city planning or architecture than on the relaxed, almost familiar mood (indeed, several CIAM activists were missing who had represented contrary positions at earlier meetings).
Architects' Congress ultimately proves to be more a film by Moholy-Nagy than a film about CIAM. The evident filmic aspects include the use of a handheld camera, repeatedly used for tilted perspectives, and the Greek light as an aesthetic factor, though that can also be read as a metaphor for the atmosphere of the congress.
Only indirectly does Moholy-Nagy's work become a document of the activity at the CIAM. The humanistic call for the inseparability of rationality and emotionality, which seemed to come to the foreground again after World War II, seems to be present in the relaxed atmosphere of Architects' Congress and captured in its images. [From: Hans Richter: New Living - Architecture, Film, Space]
Architects' Congress, 1933: Moholy-Nagy's cinematic journal, which recorded the meeting of the CIAM (International Congress of Architecture) in August of 1933. The meeting was held on a yacht that cruised the Mediterranean Sea between Marseille, the Aegean Islands, and Athens. Congress participants included such notables as Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Cornelis van Eesteren, Charlotte Perriand, Ferdinand Léger, Seigfried Gideon, Le Corbusier, and José Luis Sert.