INTERIORS Journal

INTERIORS: Stanley Kubrick

Courtesy of Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian

Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive ArchDaily column analyzing and diagraming films in terms of space.

has been called many things: pretentious, unpretentious, alienated, ambiguous, audacious, empty, disturbing, outrageous, devilish, soulless, patient, unflinching, impersonal, arrogant, calculated, paranoid, aloof, visionary, genius, tyrant, misogynist, cineaste, original, and in the immortal words of Kirk Douglas, a “talented shit.”

It’s interesting to note then, when asked about his film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick himself said, “It’s not a message that I ever intend to convey in words.” The film itself is a “nonverbal experience.” There are no words – or dialogue – for more than two-thirds of the film. Stanley Kubrick is a visual storyteller; in his films, words are secondary.

INTERIORS: True Detective

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Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

The first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, the product of creator/writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga, focuses on Detective Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Detective Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they search for clues on a grisly murder case. The series takes place in Louisiana in three distinct time periods; 1995, 2002 and 2012. Each time period has a distinct look, as characters and their surroundings change and evolve over time.

Cary Fukunaga, who comes from feature films such as Sin Nombre (2009) and Jane Eyre (2011), has always employed a distinct visual style in his work. In The Guardian, he discussed his approach to the direction of the show, noting that “one of my priorities as director was to defend craft despite the constraints on my time and budget.” In addition, he notes that he looked for specific moments in which he would treat the visual side of the medium with the same importance as the dialogue.

In the fourth episode, “Who Goes There,” he does just that, as he employs a lengthy, complex shot that brings the audience closer to the characters’ experience. This edition of INTERIORS will spatially break down that shot, revealing just how complex it was.

INTERIORS: Her

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Interiors is an online film and architecture journal published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

Spike Jonze’s fourth feature , and his fourth feature collaboration with production designer K.K. Barrett, creates a future world that is both intimate and immersive.

Her (2013), which was filmed in Los Angeles and Shanghai, uses the architecture of both cities to construct a world of its own. Jonze and Barrett, however, chose not to approach the film from a design or architectural perspective; rather, they were interested in reflecting the emotional qualities of their protagonist Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) through the production design. Barrett points out that although the future feels distant and foreign for us, “The future is also someone’s present, our character’s present.” Thus, science fiction elements are grounded in reality, and the future world of Her was designed with those ideas in mind.

In an exclusive interview with Interiors, K.K. Barrett discussed his approach as an artist to both the medium of cinema in general and Her in particular. Learn more after the break.

INTERIORS: The Yeezus Tour

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Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

The Yeezus Tour, ’s solo tour, which coincides with his sixth studio album, Yeezus, kicked off in Seattle, Washington on October 19, 2013 and ends in Toronto, Canada on December 23, 2013.

The show is theatrical, cinematic and operatic in its structure. It merges together all of Kanye West’s interests in the the visual and performance arts, creating a powerful experience that transcends the concert format.

INTERIORS: Breaking Bad

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Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian. Interiors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. 

The Golden Age of Television has made way for shows that run counter to the traditional, expected narrative model. In the course of its five-year run, Breaking Bad has effectively transformed its protagonist into an antagonist, placing its hero/anti-hero in a distinctive landscape. In this sense, the use of space and location in Breaking Bad, filmed in Albuquerque, is noteworthy, from the use of actual locations that serve as the backdrop for businesses (car wash, Los Pollos Hermanos) to constructed sets that are used for characters’ homes (Walter White’s house, Jesse Pinkman’s house).

In our analysis, we focus on the three different spaces where Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) cook meth: the RV, Superlab and makeshift labs across Albuquerque. These spaces, much like the character of Walter White himself, a chemistry teacher who uses his teaching as a cover for his new life as a drug lord, disguise themselves with their exterior appearances, blending into their surroundings.

INTERIORS: Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”

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Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian. Interiors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily, analyzing and diagramming films in terms of space. 

The rise of the director in music videos came in the early 1990s, when MTV started crediting directors alongside artists and song titles. The influx of visionary directors such as Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and David Fincher emphasized that music videos were becoming an auteur’s medium, much in the same way as . The shift from stylized and performance-based music videos into narrative-based works, however, came much later, as the medium became more “cinematic” in its look and narrative structure.

Justin Timberlake’s music videos similarly parallel this evolution. His earlier works have always focused on locations and space, his choreography and the physicality of his performances. In “Cry Me a River,” we follow his movements through various rooms in a house. In “Rock Your Body,” his choreography and performance is the center of attention as he is surrounded by lights in an enclosed space. In “My Love,” we see the contrast of black and white while focusing on the vastness of empty space. However, the narrative-based music video for “Mirrors,” from his long-awaited album, The 20/20 Experience, marks a departure for the artist.

INTERIORS: David Fincher

Courtesy of Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian

Interiors is an online and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian will run an exclusive column for ArchDaily, analyzing and diagramming films in terms of space. 

If cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame, David Fincher is an artist who is very much concerned about all four corners of his canvas. In his career, visual effects have always been at the forefront of his films, but his later works have also showcased his level of maturity as a storyteller. In Zodiac (2007), The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), visual effects play an integral role in the advancement of the story, as Fincher explores the relationship between visual effects and space.

The spaces we analyzed decrease in size with each film – an entire block in Zodiac, a business establishment in The Social Network and a single room in an apartment in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In each instance, we are dealing with spaces that depend on an effect of some sort.