This week we’re going to spotlight one of our greatest contemporary filmmakers, Tim Burton. In the 1989 film Batman, Burton generates a whole gothic environment, full of art deco and art nouveau buildings within Gotham City. Locations were inspired by urban spaces from New York City, Los Angeles, West London, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tokyo, to Hong Kong (even though Gotham City was a well-known nickname for New York City, before Batman was ever written).
If you didn’t check out our article on Architecture & Batman, do so now – and let us know which Director you think does Gotham best in the comments below…
By now, there’s no architect in the world unaware of Oscar Niemeyer’s passing, or the legacy he left over his 104 years.
In honor of the greatest Brazilian architect of our time, we invite you to enjoy this interesting documentary, which shows how Neimeyer’s work, which changed the paradigm of architecture and went beyond any stereotype, was just as unique as his noble perspective on life.
Going back to the times when cinema was recorded with no colours or sound, the German film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by Robert Wiene is a masterpiece that utilizes fully stylised sets with abstract spaces to represent different scenes. It’s considered one of the most influential movies of German expressionism, since many of the film’s unusual characteristics (from the geometric nature of the sets to the actors’ costumes) were decades ahead of their time.
Have you seen this classic? What do you think about how silent-era films depict space? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
This week’s film isn’t actually a movie in itself, but rather a lot of little films merged into one: “Paris, I Love You”. Twenty shorts, each representing the 20 arrondissements – districts – of Paris were filmed to show the French capital in its multiple identities (in the end, only eighteen made the cut). The work is an interesting attempt to use film to represent the many facets of a metropolitan urban area; it is also an exploration of the different ways we can see a city, depending on our perceptions and experiences within it.
Have you ever walked through Parisian streets? Does “Paris I Love You” capture your experiences of Paris’ districts? Let us know in the comments below.
What if your house, neighbourhood, even your city were part of a TV set? This is the fake world - a kind of suburban utopia - where Truman Burbanks lives, tricked by loops of spaces and stuck in routines. The film questions the idea of a “perfect” reality, and troubles the predictable scenarios of suburban life. From the perspective of urban planning and architecture, the film makes you wonder: to what extent should we have control over our environments? To what extent should we design out choice, or randomness, or disorder, in the name of “perfection”? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Stanley Kubrick is one of those contemporary filmmakers who needs little introduction. For this week’s edition of Films & Architecture, we’re taking a look at The Shining, considered by many to be a masterpiece – not just for its story, but also for the way Kubrick uses space to instill a sense of madness.
Many of you have probably already seen it, but if not, now’s the time to enjoy this classic of suspense. And let us know your thoughts about the relationship between space and horror in the comments below – do you think there’s such a thing as an architectural typology of suspense?
Everyone that has seen an Aronofsky film can recognize there is something beyond “special” in his work. This is not the exception, and specifically for us in terms of space, the movie travels from the past to the future, and back to the present utilising amazing contrasts for the three realities. These realities could mean a theocentric, scientific and anthropocentric views of the world. In any case, the director generates amazing transitions and spatial effects to represent those ideas.
Nothing more to say, enjoy of a great movie and let us know your comments and ideas about it!
This week we propose a much lighter film but that still linked with our profession since it shows most of the domestic issues of an architect’s life. Deadlines, unexpected changes of schedule, and overnight work become a routine on the main character’s work. In the comedy, this lack of hours for sharing with the family and rest of social life is beaten through a new device able to control time.
Does this issue of time sound familiar to any of you? Let us know your comments about how you deal with time and architecture.
For the second time in our section, we propose a Peter Greenaway film. This one has not an obvious architectural name, however the way in which the director works with space results very attractive from an architects’ point of view.
The story occurs within no more than five locations and it is full of allegories through a strong use of lighting and colours. Enjoy a classic and let us know your comments!
Last September 25th, at Bartlett School of Architecture, the Graduate Program Exhibition was inaugurated. The same day, Peter Cook gave by himself the “Multicoloured Ear”, (the physical icon coming from the fact that exhibition was taking place at the former Ear Hospital building) for the Special Peter Cook Prize of this year, to the postgraduate student Maj Plemenitas with his research project 10⁻⁹ ]LINK[ 10⁹.
From September 29th to December 8th, the exhibition dedicated to the work of Toni Cumella will be open. His works in ceramic have been utilised by architects such as Enric Miralles, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, or Jean Nouvel. These collaborations made his material became part of the image of Barcelona, being part of the construction of La Sagrada Familia, and the restoration of Casa Batlló and Parc Güell.
Focusing on the 4 main fabrication processes in use at Ceramica Cumella – extruding, casting, pressing and revolving – Shaping Ideas presents the work of Toni Cumella and the application of his ceramics in some of contemporary architecture’s most significant projects.
The Lake House is a film that shows many of the daily issues of architects’ lives. A successful architect whose two children decided to follow the same path but in really different ways. The movie presents architecture as a transmitted skill through generations, a kind of familiar heritage. Which is actually a repetitive situation in our practice.
Have you seen it already? Let us know if you feel touched by any of these subjects. What generation of architect you are?
The British band Muse has just released the video clip for the single “Isolated System” from their latest album “The Second Law” alluding to the thermodynamic theory.
Trying to represent Entropy in a physical way, they selected a short film realised by Richard Fenwick on 2006 entitled “Artificial Worlds V.3.0″ which shows a world being geometrized in an unstoppable process. Any thoughts about Entropy and Architecture?
Cube is a movie that cannot be highlighted by its cinematographic features. However, the idea of a perfect space driven by geometrical logics seems an attractive subject for us, architects. Along the film, the characters try to solve the twisted organisation of this “cube” in order to find their way out.
Have you already seen this movie? Share your thoughts about idealisation of space, or let us know any other reference that comes to your minds. As usual, we wait for your comments.
This week we propose a classic from the ’80s by Terry Gillian. Brazil is a film where he shows his vision of the future generated by societies’ bureaucracy and organisation entities. In many ways, it depicts some, nowadays, facts of rigid urban spaces that do not allow individuality or any kind of freedom.
What do you think about architecture representing or being the result of social organisations? Let us know your ideas about this subject, as always, we’re waiting for your comments and suggestions.
Baraka is the word for “blessing” in many Arabic languages. It entitled the work of Ron Fricke who did the cinematographic work for the previous posted film Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio. This time, he only includes some music and leave the rest of the job to the compilation of impressive shots that capture nature and civilisation in progress.
Let us know your thoughts about this never ending contrasts between artificial/natural, and ancient/contemporary environments.
We jump back to the end of 1940′s to remember the film based on Ayn Rand’s acclaimed book, The Fountainhead. The movie talks about the architectural debate between the industrialisation of the profession and the individual creation. An issue that we can consider still questionable nowadays.
I guess most of our readers have seen this classic or have read the book instead. Let us know your thoughts about the “creation” concept in architecture.
This week we want to propose the 1998 Alex Proya’s film considered part of the neo-noir sci-fi movement. The movie shows a city that is an experiment in itself, in which the entire place have been forced to maintain in darkness. A work that make us remember classics as Metropolis or The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Do you think there are some places like this nowadays? Do you imagine it as a possible future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.