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Filmmaker Lucas Bacle Layers Video on top of Architectural Drawings in new Short Film

16:00 - 23 August, 2016

Filmed at the Vertou Cultural Center, designed by Atelier Fernandez & Serres, this video by filmmaker Lucas Bacle challenges the traditional conventions of cinematography, employing architectural drawings to provide context for the actions of the film’s protagonist. The cultural center itself becomes a central character to the short film, as Bacle layers video on top of orthographics, highlighting the character's relationship in space to the plans and sections.

8th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival Line-Up Announced

04:45 - 16 August, 2016
8th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival Line-Up Announced, Courtesy of New York Architecture and Design Film Festival
Courtesy of New York Architecture and Design Film Festival

Following the burgeoning success of the 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF), this year's incarnation—which will run September 28 through October 2 2016 at Cinépolis Chelsea—appears set to maintain its position as the nation's and most popular largest subject-focused film event. Over 30 feature-length and short films, curated by Festival Director Kyle Bergman, will be presented, including Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future, a film that examines the life of the eponymous modernist architect.

Film screening, The Land: An adventure play documentary

11:30 - 22 June, 2016
Film screening, The Land: An adventure play documentary

Featured in Extraordinary Playscapes, the summer exhibition at BSA Space, The Plas Madoc Adventure Playground in Northern Wales is one of the world’s newest adventure playgrounds. Fondly known as "The Land," it employs some of the play movement’s oldest "junk" philosophies.This new documentary explores a place where old tires and dumpster detritus take the place of swing sets and slides, and is “a must-see for anyone interested in play work, or play, period.” (Amy Fusselman, "Savage Park”)

A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision

09:30 - 20 June, 2016
A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision, The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as “Dystopia in the Sky."

For architects, if I may generalize an entire professional community, there are few novelists as cultishly beloved as J.G. Ballard. Borges or Calvino have their fair share of admirers, but to borrow an adjective more frequently applied to buildings, Ballard is the most iconic of literary figures—especially for readers of a concrete-expansion-joint persuasion. Witnessing war as a child, training in medicine, and thereafter writing from a rather bloodless middle-class patch of suburbia, Ballard spun tales of urban life that continue to be uncomfortably visceral.

The Jane Jacobs Documentary to Premiere Fall 2016

08:00 - 4 May, 2016
The Jane Jacobs Documentary to Premiere Fall 2016, Author and Activist Jane Jacobs in 1961. Image © Phil Stanziola [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Author and Activist Jane Jacobs in 1961. Image © Phil Stanziola [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Jane Jacobs Documentary - a feature length film focusing on the life and work of celebrated author and urban activist, Jane Jacobs - is set to be released Fall 2016. Coinciding with the author’s 100th birthday, Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line, and Matt Tyrnauer, producer/director of Valentino: The Last Emperor, plan to have the film tour festivals near the end of this year.

From Cafés to the Casa Malaparte: Architecture in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard

09:30 - 16 April, 2016

The love affair between architecture and film has been well documented. From huge breathtaking sets to small spaces for intimate conversations, the architecture in a film often plays as strong a role as any character in translating the director’s vision to his/her audience. In constructing the environments of their narratives, the great filmmakers could even be considered architects in their own right—that's the claim presented in this video from the British Film Institute, which looks at the work of celebrated director Jean-Luc Godard and how the architecture in his films transforms to suit their tone. In pictures such as À bout de souffle (1960), Le Mépris (1963) and Week End (1967), Godard uses streetscapes to convey optimism or pessimism, uses walls to emphasize the emotional distance between lovers, and even includes a cameo from the particularly photogenic Villa Malaparte. Watch the video to learn more about the techniques used to achieve these moods.

Cinema and the City: 10 Films Starring Cities

06:00 - 21 March, 2016
Cinema and the City: 10 Films Starring Cities, Asas do Desejo, Wim Wenders (1987)
Asas do Desejo, Wim Wenders (1987)

The city has been explored as a theme in movies since the early days of cinema, appearing as both a setting and a protagonist in films by renowned directors like Fritz Lang, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Roberto Rossellini and Quentin Tarantino. In one of the first films ever made, Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1925), the Lumière brothers already show the modern urban environment as an important element and part of the contextualization.

Yet the cinema and the city have an extensive relationship, each influencing one another. The influence of architecture (especially modern) in the settings and cities of films can be seen in movies like Jacques Tati’s My Uncle (1958) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), while the influence of cinema in architecture and buildings can be seen in the work of architects like Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Bernard Tschumi.

We have compiled a list of 10 films in which the city plays a much more important role than just the mere setting, acting as a true protagonist of the plot. 

Film Screening: Brooklyn Farmer

18:00 - 6 February, 2016
Film Screening: Brooklyn Farmer

Explore the unique challenges faced by Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers determined to run a commercially viable farm in New York City. The film Brooklyn Farmer follows the team as they set out to build the world’s largest rooftop farm within the constraints of the Big Apple.

Film Screening: Moshe Safdie: The Power of Architecture

09:30 - 5 February, 2016
Film Screening: Moshe Safdie: The Power of Architecture

In conjunction with the exhibition Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie on display at BSA Space, this portrait film celebrates the life and work of world-renowned Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie FAIA by highlighting his outstanding contribution to the field of architecture. From the Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem to the masterplan for the city of Modi’in to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, this personal documentary delves into some of Safdie’s most famous design projects and explores what makes each one unique.

Visual Storytelling, Architecture & Animation

07:45 - 4 January, 2016
Visual Storytelling, Architecture & Animation

Increasingly, more architecture professionals are breaking into the world of film, learning digital animation and design skills to engage non-specialists, as well as their peers. Architect-trained Kibwe Tavares, co-founder of creative studio Factory Fifteen, will explore the ways architects and designers can use digital representation to encourage imaginative thinking through a combination of architecture and film.

Film Screening: Design Is One

11:46 - 16 December, 2015
Film Screening: Design Is One

Explore the creative universe of Lella and Massimo Vignelli, two of the most influential and well-known designers of all times. With interviews from luminaries in the world of design—from architects Richard Meier and Peter Eisenman to graphic designers Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, and Jessica Helfand—this film takes the viewer into the Vignellis’ world, capturing their intelligence and creativity as well as their humanity, warmth, and humor.

Film Screening: The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat

07:57 - 24 November, 2015
Film Screening: The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat, Image: The Oyler House cover art.
Image: The Oyler House cover art.

Join us for another portrayal of one of America’s greatest architects: Richard Neutra. The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat explores how Neutra, considered the “father of California Modern architecture,” came to befriend this modest small-town family and how he was inspired by the site’s stunning desert setting, which Neutra compared with the grandness of the mystical Gobi Desert.

The Architecture of Thrill: How Hitchcock Inspires Spatial Effects

08:00 - 21 October, 2015
The Architecture of Thrill: How Hitchcock Inspires Spatial Effects

Since the 2007-2008 academic year, the Ethics class at the School of Architecture (UIC Barcelona, Spain) has analyzed the cinematographic works of Alfred Hitchcock through the lens of architectural planning. In the following analysis by the class's two professors -- art theorist and historian Alfons Puigarnau and architect Ignacio Infiesta -- space is thought of as scenography, and the visual strategy is analyzed in relation to the script and the soundtrack with the intention of creating a deliberate atmosphere of suspense.

Geared for third year architecture students, this class studies the film director's vision as if it were one of the instruments guiding an architect's design. It's part of an analogy between the camera lens, which uses light, and the architect's pencil, which makes use of outlines. In fact, Hitchcock always emphasized the visual over the dialogue [1]. 

Learn more about the work of the students at the School of Architecture UIC after the break.

Psycho: Marta Delgado. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Lea Credidio. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Moises Shabot. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Sergi Viñals. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC +39

Film Screening: Eames: The Architect and the Painter

01:00 - 16 October, 2015
Film Screening: Eames: The Architect and the Painter, Image: Screenshot from EAMES: The Architect and The Painter
Image: Screenshot from EAMES: The Architect and The Painter

Watch an intimate film celebrating the creative genius of husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames, a couple widely regarded as America’s most influential designers. Best remembered for their Mid-Century Modern furniture, this documentary shows the influence that Charles and Ray had on other significant events and movements in American life, from the development of Modernism to the rise of the computer age.

When the Strange Meets the Familiar: Saunders Architecture on Fogo Island

04:30 - 5 October, 2015

Fogo is a small, rocky outcrop off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, with a population of just over 2000 people. Its sub-arctic natural landscape of lakes, rivers and mountains is interspersed by eleven small settlements and has now become the scene for a collection of follies, studios and residences designed by Norwegian practice Saunders Architecture. Most recently, Fogo's rocky wilderness and contemporary architectural interest—reminiscent of the land around Todd Saunders' current home city of Bergen—has been captured in a one-hour documentary film directed by Marcia Connolly and Katherine Knight, entitled Strange & Familar: Architecture on Fogo Island.

Five Films to Watch at the 2015 Architecture Film Festival in Rotterdam

04:00 - 28 September, 2015
Five Films to Watch at the 2015 Architecture Film Festival in Rotterdam, 'Concrete Love: The Architecture of the Böhms' will open the festival on the 7th October 2015. Image Courtesy of AFFR
'Concrete Love: The Architecture of the Böhms' will open the festival on the 7th October 2015. Image Courtesy of AFFR

It's only logical that Rotterdam, one of Europe's leading cities for architecture and architectural practice, has a biennial film festival. Since its inception in 2000, the city's homage to architectural cinema now claims to be the biggest architectural film festival in the world. Featuring over one hundred international documentaries, feature films and shorts—as well as debates, lectures and seminars—this year's festival plans to "provide a podium for discussing the city and future of spatial development." From cinematic journeys into the world of the illusive Böhm family to Zaha Hadid, Chinese ghost cities to London's Barbican estate, this year's programme circles around the theme of the Global Home.

With the eighth incarnation of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) opening next week (running from the 7th - 11th October 2015), we've selected our five top picks from this year's schedule.

How Architecture Graduates are Animating the Film Industry

08:00 - 15 August, 2015
How Architecture Graduates are Animating the Film Industry, An image for Hawkins\Brown's "Romance of the Sky" proposal, created by Factory Fifteen, a visualization and animation company founded by alumni of the Bartlett's "Unit 24" for films and architecture. Image © Factory Fifteen
An image for Hawkins\Brown's "Romance of the Sky" proposal, created by Factory Fifteen, a visualization and animation company founded by alumni of the Bartlett's "Unit 24" for films and architecture. Image © Factory Fifteen

After spending five-figure sums on their education, you might think that architectural students would, at the very least, continue in the architectural profession. However, as investigated in a new BBC Business article, many students of architecture “are using their newly-learned digital animation and design skills to break into the world of film.” With a growing demand for both architectural and all other kinds of animations, the number of film careers built from architectural foundations seems to be burgeoning. Architects-turned-filmmakers now work on a wide variety of projects, from special effects in Beyoncé videos to Oscar-winning films, to visualization films of future architectural projects.

Learn more about how digital animation has created a “two-way street” between architecture and film, here.

Event: Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York City

14:09 - 14 August, 2015
Event: Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York City, © The Infinite Happiness
© The Infinite Happiness

The nation’s largest film festival celebrating architecture and design will return to NYC in two brand new locations in Chelsea. Opening night will be held at the SVA Theatre, and the duration of the ADFF, from October 14-18, 2015, will be held at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas - a newer, bigger and more central location to accommodate a large expected audience and allow for exciting new programming. The seventh edition of the festival will present a curated selection of 30+ intriguing feature-length and short films in addition to panel discussions and Q&As with design thought leaders and filmmakers from around the world. The films explore the human elements of art, fashion, architecture and design in our everyday lives, while making the topics relatable, entertaining, and engaging for a broad audience.