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Films & Architecture: "The International"

Not that many films can have the amount of high-end architecture as location for their scenes. In “The International” the characters goes to a secondary position – through architects’ eyes - since the movie is a showroom of well known buildings and cities.

The mythic Guggenheim Museum in New York by Frank Lloyd Wright serves as the space for one of the main scenes, jumping to the Phaeno Science Center by Zaha Hadid in Wolfsburg, Germany. Cities where the movie was filmed include Istanbul, Berlin, Lyon, Milan, and New York, showing us an impressive catalogue of “international” architecture.

Let us know your thoughts about the movie and international architecture. What does this concept mean today? Or was it only an utopian modern movement?


Original Title: The International Year: 2010 Runtime: 118 min. Country: United States, Germany, United Kingdom Director: Tom Tykwer Writer: Eric Singer Soundtrack: Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Matthew Bellamy Cinematography: Frank Griebe Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen, Brian F. O’Byrne


The Interpol Agent Louis Salinger and his partner are investigating the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC). This investigation is with with the District Attorney, Eleanor Whitman, from Manhattan in a two hundred million dollars illegal business of weapons trading.

They schedule a meeting with an insider informer from IBBC at the Central Station in Berlin; however his partner is mysteriously killed after the encounter. Salinger finds the identity of the informer when he sees that the Vice President of Acquisitions André Clement had died in a car accident. Salinger and Whitman head to Milan where they meet the politician Umberto Calvini, who is a big arms manufacturer, and he explains that IBBC is interested in buying the missile guiding system that he produces in his factory.

When Calvini is murdered by a sniper in a political rally, Salinger and Whitman head to New York following the killer and later to Istanbul, and disclose a scheme of arms supply and destabilization of governments to make their nations slaves of debt. Further, the bank is protected by legal systems and only if Salinger crosses the line he might bring some justice to the corrupt system.


Previously posted on this section…

Cite:Daniel Portilla. "Films & Architecture: "The International"" 19 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>