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!
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?
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.
The Architect, is not a renowned film. We have to admit that there’s not that much unique about it in terms of cinematography. However, for us the plot of this movie is quite relevant. The director uses an specific example, one built utopian residential complex in United States to illustrate the issues that were not considered during design of these uniformity-driven blocks.
Tell us your thoughts about this topic, and what is the kind of responsibility that relies on architects, or on the whole profession of architecture?
Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer whose work is focused on industrial (and post- industrial) landscapes. His pictures were so inspiring that moved Jennifer Baichwal in 2004 to record a documentary based on them. The result is an impressive film full of really powerful images that questions the limits between natural and artificial.
It seems to be a premonitory view of the current development issues, where the scale of industrialisation processes is such large that is capable to generate a whole new environment. A totally new landscape.
Let us know about your ideas of these “manufactured landscapes” and what can we do with these spaces afterwards?
This week we want to introduce a film by one of the filmmakers that cannot be out of this list. We’re talking about Jacques Tati, the French director, writer, and actor that made his first color movie in 1958, ”Mon Oncle”.
Tati shows how the modern age affects and dramatically changes the way that people live. All the new technologies at that moment are incorporated in the scenes, were the interaction between this new concept of “modern spaces” and people is an element present in most of the movie.
What do you think about this approach of how modernity influenced (or still influencing) the way of living of our societies?
Koyaanisqatsi is the first from a saga of three films directed by Godfrey Reggio. Followed by Powaqqatsi (Life in Transformation) and Naqoyqatsi (Life as War), Koyaanisqatsi got the subtitle of “Life Out of Balance”, showing us only through impressive images the confrontation between natural and human development processes.
The film frames urban landscapes in their different types, commercial, residential, industrial, or infrastructural, as an infinite repetition against nature. Talking somehow, already in the ’80, about the environmental issues that the development model represents in the way it was deployed at that moment.
What do you think about the current development model, have this changed from the last decades or still breaking the balance with nature?
Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian combined their educational backgrounds with Interiors, an online journal that marries architecture and film.
Interiors is an online journal, published on the 15th of each month, in which films are analyzed and diagrammed in terms of space. Interiors focuses on how space is used throughout a particular scene and how the architecture of the film impacts its narratives and characters.
We come back to the 1950s to remember one of the great masters of modern film making, Alfred Hitchcock. In Rear Window, most of the scenes are recorded from the limited view of one single room. Things within a housing complex seems to work fine for everyone but not for this photographer that is forced to see the world from the same perspective every day.
Let us know what are your thoughts about this classic Hitchcock’s work and we wait for any recommendation for keep going with the list!
This week we propose you to see this interesting film that came to the big screen from the sci-fi animation serie of the same name. Locations for the movie were carefully selected to generate the futuristic environment where the story takes place. Recorded mainly in Germany, from a crematorium and parks, to an embassy and a world cultures centre were used in the different scenes.
I guess most of our readers already know this movie. If not, it is time for you to find it, enjoy a great film and tell us your thoughts!