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!
The first film of George Lucas is without any doubt a master piece in terms of how to represent futuristic spaces. In THX 1138 the underground spaces are absolutely controlled. People’s behavior is driven by different drugs depending on the physical effect required. The movie contained a catalogue of spatial experiences and explore new forms of spaces that are many years forward the ’70 ideas.
We invite you to enjoy this magnificent film and let us know your comments below!
Equilibrium shows a city of the future where all feelings have been suppressed in order to avoid war. Any means of expression that could urge a sensorial response is censored and terminated. Diversity and free thinking have been replaced by uniformity and an unquestionable authority of a “Father”, who guides lives in this new society. The entire city organization is prepared for accommodating spaces needed by the administration, including public space for citizens to congregate, and several kinds of facilities for control.
Do you think we could deal with this kind of cities in the future, or maybe they already exist? As always, we wait for you to enjoy it and let us know your thoughts in comments.
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?
The second film by Sofia Coppola was acclaimed by the critics, and with fair reasons. It shows in a subtle but deep way the contrasts between Japanese and American cultures, utilizing the amazing city of Tokyo as a background for this.
Characters are immerse in a quite different environment, which atmosphere is shown through the scenes where they interact with the foreign surroundings. This atmospheres are represented in a way beyond the typical approach of other films, trying somehow to really understand how this spaces are perceived.
As always, we wait for your comments about the movie and specifically about this culture shock concept and architecture.
A couple of years ago, we mentioned an interesting documentary about Parkour, and how such contemporary discipline is able to make reading the urban space in a different way.
The film was recorded mainly in Copenhagen, using locations such as the Mountain Dwellings designed by BIG. It also includes some conversations with Bjarke Ingels, discussing about his understanding of urban space. It has been selected as part of the films program of the RIBA 2012. If you’re in London, you will have the chance to watch it next June 26th.
More info after the break
This week we will propose the first documentary of the list within our section of Films & Architecture. There is not much to say about the figure of Kahn, since it has been worldwide recognized. Nevertheless this is a film that captures in a magnificent way the greatness of Kahn’s work through his son’s journey. I guess everyone related somehow with architecture will feel touched by this extraordinary recording. Let us know in the comments what is (or was) your experience watching the film.
Following with the list of films we propose every week, as The Belly of the Architect, Blade Runner, and Gattaca.This week we are going back to the times when technologies didn’t allow yet the sound or even color to be part of films. Metropolis, one of the classics by the German director Fritz Lang, is a film that shows a future where the city is structured in vertical layers according to the different social strata. Something that could be recognized in the current situation of several cities today… Do you know about any example? Do you think this will be the actual future pattern of our cities?
Two weeks ago we started proposing films relevant to our field for you to primarily enjoy and also to encourage its discussion. First with “The Belly of an Architect”, and then “Blade Runner”, this week is the turn for a slightly more contemporary movie written and directed by Andrew Niccol, Gattaca. The film presents a future were the human condition is already defined in DNA, therefore human’s opportunities for life development are pre-established. Beyond the interesting ethical issue, the architecture where this story occurs is carefully selected in order to fit the director’s image of the future. Locations include the Marin County Civic Center by Frank Lloyd Wright and the CLA Building by Antoine Predock.
Following with the films we will recommend every week, this time we want to introduce “Blade Runner”. Another classic from the ’80 that shows a future Los Angeles with an atmosphere that intents to shape the urban space within which we will move in the current century. The soundtrack, composed by Vangelis deserves to be mentioned as it plays a fundamental role in the comprehension of this futuristic American city.
More info after the break.