Posts tagged with "Film":

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Here are AN’s picks for architecture-themed movies and shows to enjoy while housebound

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life, and that certainly applies to readily available entertainment—movies, documentaries, television shows, and more—to watch while social distancing/self-quarantining/expanding one’s cinematic horizons during a global pandemic. Below, the AN editorial team has compiled a pointedly eclectic list of screen-based diversions to settle down with. The overarching emphasis here is obviously on architecture, design, and urbanism. However, we’ve applied that focus broadly and opted to include everything from French New Wave classics to sordid 1980s thrillers to dystopian neo-noir epics to trashy (but oh-so-enjoyable) reality TV and more. And for good measure, we’ve thrown in a few serious architecture documentaries, too. All are currently available to stream on various platforms. Sit back, relax, stay safe, and enjoy.

Alphaville (1965)

“Alphaville is easily my favorite Jean-Luc Godard film. Filmed on the streets of Paris in 1964, the story begins when a secret agent Lemmy Caution traverses the distant corners of the galaxy on a secret mission to a futuristic dystopian city, Alphaville. There, he seeks out an omnipresent scientist named Von Braun, the maker of Alpha 60, a mind-controlling computer that rules over citizens.”Gabrielle Golenda, products editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime and others. 

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

“If you can stomach languishing in a futuristic dystopia somehow worse than our own, Denis Villeneuve's 2017 sequel to the cult classic Blade Runner is certainly worth escaping into for three hours. The libertarian future of 2049 is populated by towering brutalist forms, mega-monoliths to greed, space-age pyramids, and a main villain's lair inspired by Spanish architects Barozzi / Veiga looks so good you'll forget that the world is dying outside of it. Consider it the anti-Wakanda.”Jonathan Hilburg, web editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and others.

Body Double (1984)

“There's nothing like a sleazy, ultra-stylish erotic thriller from Brian De Palma to take one's mind off the troubles of the world. Highly controversial on its release, Body Double, now a cult favorite, serves as both an homage to Alfred Hitchcock and a tribute to the architectural weirdness of Los Angeles. While numerous L.A. landmarks serve as backdrops including Tail O' the Pup, the Farmers Market, and the Hollywood Tower Apartments, the real star of the film is John Lautner's Chemosphere House (1960), a space-ship-y octagonal lair mounted on a concrete pedestal high in the Hollywood Hills. Reached only by funicular, the home, declared a Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument in 2004, is currently owned by publisher Benedikt Taschen.”Matt Hickman, associate editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.

Columbus (2017)

“Korean-born, Nashville-based supercut maestro Kogonada's feature directorial debut is a melancholy, but never despairing, romantic drama about love, loss, obligation, and modernist architecture. Filmed on location in the small Indiana city known as "the Athens of the Prairie," this tender, haunting film stars John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson alongside works by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Deborah Berke, and others. (Sorry Venturi fans but Fire Station Number 4 doesn't make a cameo appearance.) Added non-architectural bonus: Parker Posey in a small but memorable supporting role.”Matt Hickman, associate editor. ”Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. 

Grand Designs

“Grand Designs is a long-running British TV series. Each episode tracks the progress of some of the U.K.’s most ambitious and experimental self-built home projects. Host Kevin McCloud, a noted architectural journalist and architect in his own right, offers a succinct narration as he checks into each project at different stages. His advice and helping hand is often followed by bitting albeit constructive criticism.”–Adrian Madlener, interiors editor. Seasons 10 and 15 available on Netflix.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) (2013)

“La Grande Bellezza is an Academy Award-winning film by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. While the movie follows a one hit wonder author and affluent playboy as he goes through the pangs of a late life crisis, its art direction casts Rome in a rhapsodic mise en scene. The capital city’s ancient and contemporary architecture is presented in an almost nostalgic way, devoid of its regular tourist hordes. The protagonist's self-reflection is emulated in this dramatic backdrop.”Adrian Madlener, interiors editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.

Love Island UK, Season 6:

“The sixth season of British dating reality television show Love Island UK wrapped filming just as coronavirus was roaring onto the global stage, but watching it will transport you to a simpler world where a bevy of single twenty-somethings loll their days away while looking for love without leaving the confines of a South African villa. The house the contestants are kept in is a typical reality TV monstrosity (vapid slogans scrawled on the walls, 360-degree lighting, a riot of wall colors), but maybe this is where design is heading now that so many peoples’ houses have become backdrops for screen-mediated interactions. Or maybe the show is just a nice escape from the relentless news cycle. Either way, it’s worth a watch.”–Jack Morley Balderrama, managing editor. Available on Hulu.

Playtime (1967)

“This French comedy follows director Jacques Tati’s character as he bumbles his way through the modern spaces of 1960’s Paris. It’s almost more of a dance than drama performance, with the spaces playing a significant role in each scene.”Ian Thomas, art director. Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Poltergeist III (1988)

“The third and final installment of the Poltergeist franchise moves the action from an evil spirit-infested tract house in the Southern California ’burbs—“The house looks just like the one next to it … and the one next to that … and the one next to that”—to an ultra-modern Chicago high-rise. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Center plays the role of sinister supertall well). Taking place almost entirely within the confines of said high-rise, this distinctly urban horror film, despite being critically lambasted, managed to render subterranean parking garages, mirrored hallways, elevators, window-cleaning platforms, and skyscrapers in general completely terrifying to an entire generation of children.”–Matt Hickman, associate editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more

Other selections include:

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio (Sam Wainwright Douglas, 2010). Available on Amazon Prime. Eames: The Architect and the Painter (2011, Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey). Available on Google Play, iTunes, and more. Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (Peter Rosen, 2016). Available on YouTube. Helevetica (Gary Hustwit, 2007). Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Director Hustwit is streaming all of his documentary films, which also include Urbanized, Objectified, and Rams, for free during the COVID-19 crisis. Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story (Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell Vance, 2020). Available streaming on PBS. How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? (Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado, 2010). Available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and more. I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. The Pruit-Igoe Myth (Chad Freidrichs, 2011). Available on iTunes. A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009). Available on Netflix. Sketches of Frank Gehry (Sydney, Pollack, 2005). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. Unfinished Spaces (Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, 2011). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.

Open Call: 2A City Architecture Movie Awards 2020

We celebrate movies demonstrating ancient, contemporary, and modern architecture, representing a blend of talent, idea, vision, as well as commitment. The 2A City – Architecture Movie Awards provide critics, theorists, and architectural philosophers with a new median for architectural expression as well as a discussion. At the 2ACAMA, we believe that movies present a contemporary way to understand and envision space. The ultimate motive behind bringing the two Arts of Architecture and Cinema together lies in a deep standpoint. This viewpoint states that movies are a play of expressions and sequence of events. On the other hand, Architecture is a powerful and enduring identity that speaks for itself using built structures. Both share a relationship that goes a long way and is both shallow and intense. 2A City – Architecture Movie Awards – The Vision It is not easy to imagine cinema and movies taking place in a vacuum. Architecture is the panorama of films and cinema. Landscapes, houses, and cities comprise of the frames where filmmakers take account of people, lives, thoughts, and feelings. Their relationship, and in some cases, the results of this fusion are surprising – beyond doubt. The architecture in the movies comes out as a backdrop of the scene or as a framework of the action. But it doesn’t just serve as a background to frame a film. It plays an enormous role in setting the disposition, the story, as well as the unseen shades in the movie. Specific environments give rise to certain feelings, as well as meanings. Even though not said through words, the visual spur of space makes us visualize and examine how the people in space work and move. As the international audience grows, and new genres come into view, the 2A City – Architecture Movie Awards take account of more than just the film’s viewing. A lot of influential programs, lectures, as well as discussions, are to be organized that may add to the rational impact of the cinema and architecture. The Jury At 2ACAMA, the board of judges comprises of the independent panel of adjudicators who are “renowned professionals” in the fields of architecture, business, film production, education, publishing, as well as culture. Eva Sangiorgi Constanze Ruhm Golmar Kempinger-Khatibi Elise Feiersinger Karl-Heinz Klopf Sum and Substance At 2ACAMA, we believe that film controls space just as architecture persuades film. So, 2ACAMA has been designed to identify movies that make dependable and significant contributions to humankind and the built environment utilizing the art of cinema. A stunning gamut of architecture and cinema lovers from all over the world would witness the event. The venue for 2ACAMA is Belvedere 21 in Vienna, Austria, on 5 June 2020. The film registration for the 2A City – Architecture Movie Awards 2020 begins on Feb 15th, 2020. The registration deadline for the 2ACAMA 2020 is April 1st, 2020.
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Seoul’s semi-basement dwellers get financial boost from the city after Parasite

Hot off the staggering success of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is extending a helping hand to those living in the city’s cramped and famously flood-prone semi-basement apartments. As reported by English-language daily the Korea Herald, a total of 1,500 households living in semi-basement apartments, or Banjiha, will be eligible for up to ₩3.2 million (approximately $2,654) to invest in new flooring, improved HVAC systems, air purifiers, smoke detectors, and other items that are in need of replacement or altogether lacking in Seoul’s halfway-subterranean homes. According to the Los Angeles Times, there were over 360,000 semi-basement apartments in South Korea as of 2015, with a majority located in the country’s ultra-dense capital region. Many of the units were originally built as bunkers in the 1970s—an era when military tension with North Korea was at a boiling point—and later converted into ultra-cheap rental units with little regard for comfort or safety. Although a more affordable option compared to high-rise apartment blocks that a majority of Seoul residents call home, Banjiha are dark, damp, poorly ventilated, and often too compact to support the number of people living in them. Seventy-eight percent of Seoul’s semi-basement dwellers are in the bottom 30 percent income bracket, per city statistics cited by the Korea Herald. The Banjiha upgrade initiative, spearheaded by the city in partnership with the Korean Energy Foundation, will begin accepting applications from households in March with plans to expand the range of applications eligible to apply in subsequent years. The financial aid is being dispersed as a larger effort to help low-income Seoul residents improve and boost efficiency in their aging, with priority given to semi-basement apartment dwellers. Featured prominently in Parasite as the primary residence of the scheming Kim family, Seoul’s semi-basement apartments have garnered a significant amount of attention since the film’s release. As detailed by AN in a recent article, Bong used the built environment—specifically two very different modes of housing, the dreary semi-basement apartment and the ultramodern, quasi-suburban luxury home—to propel the film’s pointed social commentary. “Banjiha is a space with a peculiar connotation... It’s undeniably underground, and yet you want to believe it’s above ground,” the Times quoted Bong as saying following Parasite’s premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. “There’s also the fear that if you sink any lower, you may go completely underground.” While the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Banjiha-earmarked financial aid program won’t lift semi-basement dwellers fully above ground, it does function as a life preserver of sorts, helping to prevent thousands from sinking even further. Just call it the Parasite Effect.
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The shadow of history looms large at Peter Freeman

When watching the Amsterdam-based Fiona Tan’s animated video installation Archive (2019) at Peter Freeman's Manhattan gallery in SoHo, one feels as though they have been transported into a visual, Foucaultian metaphor for the passage of time. Rendered in silent 3D, the camera glides across derelict stacks of virtual card catalog cabinets, with artificial shudders, dust, and scratches expertly woven into the 5-minute tour of an imaginary, panoptic archive in black-and-white. The video is just one piece of a concise selection of works on view in Archive / Ruins, Tan’s first solo show in the city since 2010. Based on the Belgian pioneer of information science Paul Otlet’s conception of an archive that contained all human knowledge—an idea with uncanny similarities to the present-day internet—Archive gives cinematic treatment to Otlet’s vision, presenting a medium-conscious vision of history. Like the larger exhibition, Archive might feel slightly anemic at first glance, but what the installation lacks in formal contrast is more than outweighed by the conceptual and technical richness of the work on display. In an accompanying booklet, A Walk Among Ruins, Tan explains in her usual clear, concise language the primary concepts and processes on display. A detailed recalling of the highly physical process of editing celluloid film is bookended by texts on the Renaissance engagement with classical architecture in Rome, and a short but poignant entry describing poet Ludovico Ariosto’s sixteenth-century epic poem about a voyage to the moon, which he imagined as a receptacle for all the structures lost to the ravages of time:
Ruins of cities and of fortresses Lay scattered all about, with precious stores, Plots ill-contrived, broken alliances, Feuds and vendettas and abortive wars…
The booklet exemplifies the multilayered experiences made possible by Tan’s presentation. Whether one reads the entire text or none of it, the images on display resonate with each other and our own experience with historical and personal ruins. As one's eye moves about the real and imagined vestiges of Tan’s historical facts and fictions, we are reminded that our knowledge of history is shaped by the texts and ruins it leaves for us, and our grasp of the past is based on the fickle lens of memory. Analog film enthusiasts will enjoy Ruins (2020), a room-sized dual projection of one high definition video and one 16 mm film, both of which project a similar, but not identical, 4-minute film on a continuous loop. Each feed is a silent amalgamation of static shots that variously frame the dilapidated arches, freestanding columns, and crumbling surfaces of the Grand-Hornu, an abandoned mining complex in Belgium—a company town (cité ouvrière)—built between 1810 and 1830. Projected onto opposite walls, the films demonstrate their inherent fragility; the HD digital video provides a cool, crisp contrast to the soft yellow images of the celluloid, subtly evoking the longevity of each medium. Where analog film can last for at least (as far as we know) 100 years, the digital film will, without being transferred to a newer memory chip, decay into an unplayable video file after less than a decade. However, Ruins simultaneously highlights an important caveat to this comparison: The 16 mm film runs through the projector on a continuous loop, the act of playing the print decaying it to the point of being unusable after a matter of days, when a new print must then be made from the master copy. The holistic conception of the exhibition, and the many avenues through which one may enter and exit the concepts in play, is characteristic for Tan, yet the austerity of her images here provides subtle emphasis on the theme of shadow and light. A set of photogravures—a type of mechanical print traditionally made from a photographic negative—are the first thing visitors observe upon entering the gallery, their high contrast, black-and-white images display screenshots from Archive’s virtual stacks. If, as Walter Benjamin (one of the many historical luminaries with whom Tan is in direct conversation) suggests, history decays into images, then Tan’s cinematic musings on the material future of architectures lays bare, with her usual deftness, the delicacy of both structure and image in the face of our eternal, ever-evolving, unavoidably-mediated future. Archive / Ruins runs through February 15.
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Parasite reveals class divides through elaborate stage set design

South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho has, in recent years, become an increasingly notable figure among those in the global film community. His latest work, Parasite (2019), expertly straddles the line between art-house and popcorn thriller as it tells the story of a destitute family of four, the Kims, conning a much wealthier family, the Parks, into full employment by posing as unrelated professionals in the service industry and integrating themselves into the richer family's lives. While its protagonists excel at filling each scene with elegant dialogic tension and balletic physical gestures throughout, it is the film's architecture and general production design that ultimately both deepens and carries the film's plot to its tragic resolution (note: this review contains no spoilers). The Kims live in a cramped semi-basement with a casement window at the dead-end of a dreary alleyway as their only natural light source. When Kim Ki-woo, the family's son, is invited to the Park home to interview under the pretense of being a university-level English tutor, he - and us, in turn - are stunned by how the other half lives. He approaches the property via a tidy, narrow street with a fortress-like wall punctuated by a heavy steel door. Ki-woo pushes it open to ascend a sweep of exterior stairs leading to a grand courtyard garden that seems only a dash smaller and less guarded than Versailles. An immaculate modern-style home overlooks the courtyard with streak-free floor-to-ceiling windows, through which Ki-woo sees an expansive, multi-level interior. The spatial layout of the Kims' semi-basement home “really reflects the psyche of the Kim family,” Bong explained in an interview. “You’re still half overground, so there’s this hope and this sense that you still have access to sunlight and you haven’t completely fallen to the basement yet. It’s this weird mixture of hope and this fear that you can fall even lower. I think that really corresponds to how the protagonists feel.” And while the audience is told that the Parks' sprawling home and grounds were designed by Namgoong Hyeonja, a fictional architect that built the home for himself before vacating four years ago, they were, in actuality, an elaborate stage set built specifically for the film. Production designer Lee Ha-joon revealed that the first floor and garden were built in an empty lot, while the austere interior spaces were built on a soundstage. “We had to consider the cinematic factors," Lee explained, "but also had to create a house so real that the audience could accept the idea the characters were actually living in it."  The film cuts back and forth between the opulent simplicity of the Park residence and the tightly-packed squalor of the Kim home as the protagonists argue that rich people are nice because they can afford to be. “Hell, if I had all this money,” says Kim Chung-sook, the family's mother, as she gestures to the cavernous, sparsely-decorated interior of the Park residence, “I'd be nice, too!” Throughout Parasite, wealth presents itself in the form of architectural design that is serene yet equal parts boastful and territorial, while its more prevalent and common opposite is indeterminate, circumstantial and perpetually cluttered. Private, empty space, the film convinces us, is a rare luxury in itself.
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Bjarke Ingels designs an Astoria film production campus for Robert De Niro

It's no secret that New York's film and television industry is booming, or that there's been a recent real estate push for investment in spaces for the creation of shows, movies, and more. Robert De Niro has thus enlisted the help of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design a “vertical village” for film in Astoria, Queens. Initial renderings were released this week, unveiling a 650,000-square-foot facility dedicated to film, television, and AR/VR atop the former home of a Steinway & Sons Piano Storage Facility. The $400 million project was first announced in July when a group of investors, including the actor and his son, purchased the five-acre plot along Steinway Creek in the northwestern edge of Queens. Promising to bolster the city's fast-growing production economy and provide over 1,000 daily union jobs, Wildflower Studios will be a “true destination film campus,” said Adam Gordon, president of the company, in an interview with The New York Times BIG’s grand vision for the grounds, sited at 87 19th Avenue, so far includes a singular structure that will house interconnected spaces for offices, production-support, stages, and lounges. Because the building will be located within a rather industrial part of Astoria and overlooks part of the East River, Wildflower is required to provide public water access and land conservation where necessary.  In a statement, Bjarke Ingels said the spatial constraints made it tricky to design the project: “We were challenged by Wallflower to distill all the physical, logistical, technical and experiential aspects of film production into a one of a kind vertical village for film."  Most studios in the city, from Steiner in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Silvercup in Long Island City, are located on large plots of land within warehouses that have long-existed as the homes of manufacturing outlets. These unassuming properties include open floor plates, ample oversized doors and elevators, as well as little access to light—perfect for film production. BIG's design for Wildflower is clearly seeking to strike a different tone as it uses natural light spilling in from exterior cutouts, greenery scattered from the lobby to the lounge, and views of the adjacent water. For De Niro, this strategic focus on design symbolizes the studio's commitment to production spaces where creatives want to work and are proud to be every day. “Completion of this project ensures that future generations of producers, directors, writers, and storytellers will play a vital role in filmed entertainment in New York for years to come,” he said in a press release. So far, no date for completion has been announced but the plans are now being filed with the New York City Council. 
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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ingeniously blends existing and fabricated scenery

Los Angeles may be popularly thought of as a city with relatively little regard for the history of its built environment in favor of a ceaseless self-transformation, yet countless examples of the buildings completed during the movie industry’s Golden Era of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, as well as a few fortunate survivors from before that era, remain intact to this day. The production team behind Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969, made ample use of what was available while developing innovative techniques for what was not. Following the friendship of actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they narrowly come into contact with the sordid details of the Manson Family murders, Once Upon a Time takes its viewers through grand, unobstructed views of the city as it appeared half a century ago. A period piece with this much exposure, of course, required a detail-oriented crew to revert the city to its former glory without the extensive aid of digital set extensions. Barbara Ling, the lead production designer of Once Upon a Time, claims to have placed over 170 sets and facades in between preexisting structures to convincingly frame the film in the late 1960s. Lengthy stretches of Hollywood Boulevard, for example, were shut down for production to allow for long sweeping shots of the street as high up as a bird’s eye view. During the street closures, the elements completed off-site were brought in with cranes and quickly set into place. During several close-up shots, the posters and other period-accurate materials in the background were borrowed from Tarantino’s own collection of vintage memorabilia (including the same advertisement for Tanya suntan lotion advertisement famously displayed on the cover of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s book Learning from Las Vegas from 1972). But the film also takes advantage of what the city would never dare destroy. Once Upon a Time begins with Rick, Cliff and Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) inside Musso and Frank Grill, the “Oldest in Hollywood,” which is celebrating its centennial this year. Because its interior has been virtually unchanged since it first opened on Hollywood Boulevard, it is only in the transition from interior to the exterior that movie magic is employed, in which the production team skillfully recreated the restaurant’s original parking lot entrance based on old photographs. According to Variety, the restaurant staff even pulled out the original plateware from their storage room. The same creative mixture of reality and fabrication is most brilliantly applied near the end of the film, in which a gorgeous series of sunset shots seamlessly combines the city’s existing neon signage, such as that for the 1963 Cinerama Dome, with those that have been lost to time. But perhaps the greatest challenge met by Once Upon a Time is persuading its audience that Los Angeles is a beautiful city. “Los Angeles may be the most photographed city in the world,” Thom Anderson argued in his 2003 documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, “but it’s one of the least photogenic. It’s not Paris or New York. In New York, everything is sharp and in-focus, as if seen through a wide-angle lens. In smoggy cities like Los Angeles, everything dissolves into the distance, and even stuff that’s close-up seems far off.” While Tarantino’s three previous movies set in the city—Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Jackie Brown (1997)—succumbed to the global stereotypes by depicting it as a gritty hellscape befitting the crime and corruption taking place under his direction, Once Upon a Time portrays Los Angeles with an unapologetic charm rivaled only by Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Attention to detail and historical accuracy will likely make Once Upon a Time an essential reference for film and architecture buffs alike. As Tarantino contemplates his next and possibly last film (which will, no doubt, be another period piece), one can only hope that his focus on the built environment will somehow be even sharper.
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AN interviews Hamilton set designer David Korins about the show's exhibition

It has already been a busy year for creative director and set designer David Korins. Hamilton: The Exhibition, which Korins served as creative director of, opened on April 27, bringing an immersive 18-room exhibition to Chicago’s Northerly Island; that same week, the stage adaptation of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, with sets designed by Korins, opened in New York on Broadway. Hamilton: The Exhibition dives much deeper into the life and history of Alexander Hamilton, the person, than the stage show (which Korins also designed the set for) and expands on topics that were overlooked in the musical, such as slavery and Hamilton’s legacy after his death. To help guide fans through the exhibition, an audio guide narrated by original cast members Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton), Phillipa Soo (Elizabeth Schuyler), and Christopher Jackson (George Washington). The show, which is currently staged in a 35,000-square-foot black “hangar,” was designed to be mobile and will eventually pack up and leave for other cities after an undetermined run time in Chicago. The $13.5 million exhibition actually cost $1 million more to open than the musical it’s based on, but much of that owes to the show’s high level of technological integration and attention to detail. Guests can take an interactive tour through famous scenes from Hamilton’s life, engage with games, and even watch a 3D version of the musical’s opening as it was performed in Washington, D.C., with Miranda at the helm. Tickets for Hamilton: The Exhibition are $39.50 for adults and $25 for children. Korins also served as the creative director of Treasures from Chatsworth, a show at the renovated Sotheby’s New York headquarters that will run from June 28 through September 18. Art from the Chatsworth House in England, owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, will be juxtaposed against supersized versions of minute details from the home that could easily be overlooked. AN recently caught up with Korins and asked him to break down how he was able to realize his two most recent projects. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. How did you go about translating a show that works around one set into an exhibit with 18 full exhibition rooms with branching paths and interactive multimedia? David Korins: Well, it was harrowing. Although, the Hamilton exhibition is decidedly not Hamilton, the show. We had way more content to deal with. In a way, using Hamilton, the man, as our through-line and as our lens into early America was helpful because it helps crystallize the story that we're telling. There's enough information about the founding of early America that we could have made an exhibition just on George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson, or James Madison, or anyone. In a way, the stage show, which obviously spans about thirty years across countless locations was one thing. But we had to use a whole bunch of artistic compression in order to make that show a dramatic piece of theater. What we wanted to do with the exhibition museum was to really able to go in to deeper and wider into the entire story of America and really kind of right the wrongs of the dramatic lives that we tried to mimic in the show. It's easy conceptually to say, "let's expand this thing into 18 or 20 galleries" because there's just so much more information. It was nearly an impossible task artistically to try and actually execute it because a stage show has no ceiling on it, there's no fourth wall, there's no wall between the audience and the performers. In this exhibition, every one of these things is a complete room. I know it's more about Hamilton the man, but it does seem like some of the rooms, this writing desk room for instance, tie into songs from the show. How did you balance how much of the musical should be in the exhibition versus how much should focus on history and Hamilton's life? DK: First of all, we're not trying to distance ourselves from the show. We, in fact, have a completely remastered, re-orchestrated, rerecorded score in every one of the galleries. I think if you look at the New York City gallery, it is very reminiscent of the architecture that I designed the stage show with. I would say that much of the spaces employ the use of very abstract, theatrical design, visual vocabulary. Part of that is because I'm the one designing it, creating it. A part of that is because you can't realistically recreate all these historical locations. Nor do I think that that would be necessarily interesting. I think one of the things that we told ourselves in the very beginning of this process was to try and do what only we can do. And then there are moments that are wildly abstract where there are swirling pieces of parchment paper floating up into a work cloud over your head. So we tried all that we could do, and I thought for two years about what I want each one of these rooms to feel like and what story we are trying to tell.
Changing gears to Beetlejuice—that's a movie where the scenery is constantly shifting around. Looking at the photos from the set, it seems like you had to reinvent the same stage multiple times during the show. How did you translate Tim Burton's aesthetic for the stage without reusing it wholesale? It doesn't exactly match the house in the movie, but I see there are references to his other work sort of scattered around.
DK: As far as technical difficulty, I will agree with what you said, and I will tell you that the show is by far the most technically challenging thing I have ever done, and it's by far the most technically challenging show I've ever seen. If the Hamilton exhibition was the biggest and most ambitious project I have ever worked on, which it certainly was by a lot, Beetlejuice was the most complicated one. That show, every single piece of scenery has a light in it, a special effect, a magic trick, a puppet pole, a speaker. Some crazy thing going on inside of it. How do we incorporate the world of Tim Burton? I think that Tim Burton is one of the great visual artists of our time. I think when you are asked to do a Tim Burton project you have to honor it and acknowledge it and try to keep up. Beetlejuice the musical is very different than Beetlejuice the movie. The thing about it is we have a whole bunch of different physical parameters, so we have to take those into consideration as opposed to making a movie. First of all, the play runs eight times a week and we can't cut away, we can't dissolve, we can't have a puppeteer just out of frame or anything like that. We have to make this thing work seamlessly for a bunch of live people in a room. Beyond that, I thought that it would be interesting to honor Tim Burton's kind of overall visual aesthetic, not just the Beetlejuice one. You have Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline—we have tons of references. So we’re storytelling in a very different way. You can't have an actor be in a different costume every single scene. We're telling the story at a much broader, more muscular gesture. How did you design a set that would be so easy to shift in such shorter amounts of time? DK: I guess the short answer is: we're geniuses. Just kidding! I think it was very important that the Maitland's home felt different aesthetically than the Deetz's home. And that the Deetz's home felt different than the Beetlejuice home. So we had to ask ourselves, what could we possibly change in six minutes of stage time, or ten minutes of stage time? And how do we do that? We came up with a really ingenious wall system that we would be able to sub out. The changing of the furniture and the mantles and the window frames and the light fixtures is exactly as you would imagine it. A lot of manpower is back there doing these, like schlepping stuff on and off in a perfectly choreographed ballet move backstage. The wall systems are similar. There are prefabricated sections of wall that click in on top of or below other sections. And they literally have to go in and every single section of wall gets changed out. I see a lot of detail went into even just the small touches in the wallpaper, sculptures, sconces, and all of that. DK: Every single piece of scenery, every single wallpaper, every single piece of furniture, every single graphic was hand-drawn. And I don't mean “hand-drawn” like drafted. I mean, literally hand-drawn, even what we drafted with architectural drawings so that they could build them and engineer them. We then went in and we hand-drew all the wallpaper. We hand-drew all the etching and the lines on all the molding so that everything single thing had a really homemade kind of quality to it.

Women architects are everywhere: Call for 1 minute films

CALL FOR STUDENT FILMS

We seek 1 to 2-minute student films about women. This project will continue the efforts to write women into architectural history, this time via video.

SPONSORED BY ARCHITEXX

THE SUBJECT OF YOUR FILMS:

We seek to have the subjects of these 1-minute films be about women architects, defined expansively. These are women who were educated as architects, or educate others to become architects. Women from wide and diverse practices, demonstrating the myriad ways women trained as architects have participated and continue to participate in the built environment and design related fields. For example, these could be women who spent their careers at large or mid-sized or small firms, in City Planning departments, as sole practitioners, as educators, historians, as landscape designers, as well as those who go on into other design-related industries such as interiors, exhibition design, film, production design, art installations, gaming, fashion, to name but a few. This project seeks to demonstrate that women have been vital to the practice of architecture for decades, while radically under recognized. This project works with other global efforts to change that!  

THE FOLLOWING QUESTION MUST BE INCLUDED IN YOUR FILM:

What about this architect's work has inspired / impacted / influenced you or you learned from?  

FILM REVIEW + SCREENING PROCESS:

Each of the finished films will be reviewed by an esteemed jury of architects, design professionals and industry leaders. A selection of the films will be publicly screened during New York City’s Archtober month-long focus on architecture and will be available online once they have screened.

FILM SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

1. Each film is to be between 1 to 2 minutes long 2. Opening and closing credits including required citations, may be up to an additional 10 seconds in total 3. We encourage original content and in-person interviews whenever possible as well as the use of public domain images and music. Please see the following for more ideas: https://archive.org/ http://freemusicarchive.org/member/cheyenne_h/blog/A_Ton_of_Public_Domain_Songs 3. Films may be in any language, non-English audio or on-screen text, must have English subtitles 4. All submissions are due by May 31st 8pm EST, including sending a downloadable link to hello@architexx.org that includes the short film and two (2) still images from the film.   For some inspiration, take a look at #wikiD, Rebel Architette, Una dia / Una Arquitecta https://www.architexx.org/subtexxt/wikid-women-wikipedia-design https://www.facebook.com/architettearchiwomen/ https://www.facebook.com/undiaunaarquitecta/  

WOMEN ARCHITECT 1MIN FILM PROJECT CHAIRS

LORI BROWN, PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

DALE B. COHEN, ASSOC. AIA, OWNER OF DALE COHEN DESIGNSTUDIO

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Film Forum's extensive renovation becomes art in new photo book

The following is excerpted from Film Forum: Under Construction 2018.

The images that you see here were captured on a worksite for the expansion of Film Forum, a place where people gather with a group of strangers to watch a story unfold —something that is increasingly unusual these days. They are a celebration of an ancient ritual married to a modern technology. The technology develops but the ritual decays.

What do these photographs say about watching movies? What do they recall and what do they suggest? How is it that beneath the formal pleasures of their design, their abstraction, and their use of color, they conjure something concrete about shared experience? Like a lot of abstractions, and certainly like many of Jan Staller’s photographs, these pictures are not only about a surface but the materiality below the surface. In this case the materials are the brick and mortar of the theater itself and the steel and brittle celluloid of projectors, reels and filmstrips—objects that look now like sacraments of the earliest technology of the art form. They are evocative because they are tactile. My first exposure to the movies was more sterile and electronic. It took place alone, in a dark room, late at night in front of a television set. In this respect, it was closer to the way that most people watch movies today. As I got older I went to movie theaters, spending hours of my youth in palaces called The Orpheum, The Lyric, and more prosaically (and appropriately), The Suburban World. There was something fundamentally different about going to a theater. The impact of the experience was magnified literally by the scale of its presentation and emotionally by the act of sharing it with a community. And just as importantly, by its appeal to the sensorium, something that most modern technology abjures. The theater was itself a machine, one that you entered, was turned on, and then would grind into action. Its constituent parts were hidden but somehow felt.  That’s part of what these photographs evoke, but for me they also evoke memories of my early days as a film editor, when you felt the film in your hands and heard the clack of the sprockets as it ran through the machines. But before waxing too nostalgic about the older ways of doing things, it may be useful to think about two movies that I saw for the first time at Film Forum. They were both by F. W. Murnau, a German filmmaker who came to Hollywood in 1926. The first, Sunrise, was made in 1927 and is certainly one of the greatest movies of the silent period. It was a huge success, and William Fox, the man who had brought Murnau to America and who was the producer of Sunrise, asked him to do another movie. In his youth, Murnau had been something of a gear head—he was fascinated by cameras and new technology. In the interim between Sunrise and his next film for Fox, The City Girl, sound had been introduced. The new technology was alien to Murnau as an older man. He couldn’t reconcile it with his taste or his process and The City Girl was made and released as a silent film with title cards instead of dialogue. Watching it now one wonders what it would have been like otherwise. A cautionary tale about aging out of your era. The movies are wedded to technology, and for better or worse as the technology advances it changes not only how they’re made, but what we actually see and how we watch them. At a certain point resistance seems quaint and misguided. The opportunities in most cases outweigh the things we lose. The sensual pleasures of pre-digital machines are probably lost forever, but the act of gathering to watch stories, to be part of an audience, would be dangerous to lose. It is ancient and fundamental. So let’s celebrate one of the few institutions that continues to expand that opportunity. These pictures do, and they do something else—they get under the skin.
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Evoking a villain’s lair, James Bond museum opens in the Austrian Alps

If all the James Bond villains got together and opened a museum, this would be it. Carved inside a mountain, surrounded by snow, reachable only by an alpine gondola, the remote location was the ideal set for the 2015 Bond movie Spectre. Now it’s transformed into 007 Elements, a Bond-themed spy museum that opened on July 12 in the Austrian Alps. Designed by Johann Obermoser of Obermoser arch-omo ZT GmbH | Architektur in Innsbruck, the two-level museum is located on top of and inside the Gaislachkogl mountain in Sölden, Austria, site of a popular ski resort and location of the fictional Hoffler Klinik that appeared in Spectre. Planning for the project began while Spectre was being filmed in 2015. The museum primarily focuses on that movie, the 24th in the Bond franchise, but highlights others as well. Visitors reach the museum by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain, nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. The museum is filled with props and other artifacts from Bond movies, including the plane used in Spectre, which is suspended like a Calder mobile. Inside are nine galleries that were designed to be 'floating cubes' set within the mountain. These chambers employ dark lighting, sound effects, mirrors and videos to evoke the feel of a villain’s underground lair. The only parts of the museum that are above ground are the entrance, exit, two windows, and a plaza that provides sweeping Alpine views. Each cube showcases a different aspect of filmmaking, such as title sequences, music, special effects, stunts, spy gadgets, and cars. The museum is a joint venture of EON Productions, a production company behind the Bond films, with MGM Studios, and Jakob Falkner, owner of the cable car company at the Sölden resort. The museum’s creative director is Neal Callow, who served as art director for the last four Bond films, all starring Daniel Craig. The galleries are intentionally not heated or air conditioned, so visitors could experience “the extreme climate conditions of high altitudes,” according to the architect’s website. “It being Bond, of course, building something inside the top of a mountain feels very kind of correct, for the history of the legacy,” Callow told Conde Nast Traveler. “We always wanted to do a different type of experience than a traditional museum, where we wanted to teach people about how all of our films are made, and inspire people to get in the industry.” The museum is next to ice Q, a restaurant that doubled as the Hoffler Klinik in Spectre and was designed by the same architects.
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New doc spotlights Helmut Jahn's threatened Thompson Center

The nonprofit MAS Context is hosting the international digital premier of Starship Chicago: A Building on the Brink, a documentary by Nathan Eddy, chronicling the oft-misunderstood Helmut Jahn–designed James R. Thompson Center. The film was premiered at the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, with a U.S. premiere at the fall MAS Context: Analog event in Chicago. Later it was shown at the New Urbanism Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York. The one-week showing on the MAS Context website runs through November 12, and it's the first time the 16-minute film can be streamed online. “I love these buildings, and I don’t think these buildings are appreciated. Helmut Jahn told me while making the documentary, 'At some point every artist just makes a lot of noise.’ I know how to make a lot of noise,” filmmaker Nathan Eddy told The Architect's Newspaper (AN). “That is the only way that people will pay attention in this day and age. I’m a controversy builder. I do these things because I cannot help myself.” Completed in 1985, the Thompson Center is the hub of Illinois state government in the City of Chicago. From the moment it was constructed, it has turned heads and sparked debate. Today, the current governor, Bruce Rauner, has been adamant about his intentions to see the building either demolished or converted into a private property. Starship Chicago interviews many of Chicago’s most influential architectural thinkers to discuss the construction, legacy, and future of the iconic structure. The documentary includes conversations with James R. Thompson, the former governor who commissioned the building, the building’s architect, Helmut Jahn, architecture critics Blair Kamin and Lynn Becker, and architects Chris-Annmarie Spencer and Stanley Tigerman, among others. Starship Chicago is the second short film by producer-director Nathan Eddy, whose first film, The Absent Column, covered the preservation battle for the eventually demolished Bertrand Goldberg–designed Prentice Women’s Hospital. Starship Chicago is the first vocal step in beginning the conversation about saving the Thompson Center, and Eddy is active in preservation battles elsewhere. Recently, he has led the charge to protect the Philip Johnson and John Burgee–designed AT&T Building in New York, whose granite facade could be replaced with glass in a Snøhettta-led redesign. “I have one method, which is 'WAKE UP!!!' All caps with three exclamation points,” Eddy said, discussing the differences between The Absent Column and the Thompson Center film. “After Prentice, we made a great film that tried to appeal to people on an emotional level that would be poignant. That didn’t work and that sucked. When we were doing the film about the Thompson Center, we needed to re-evaluate the way we were going to make people wake up. So, I wanted to make the first comedic architecture documentary.” Of the famed and derided atrium of the Thompson Center, former governor James R. Thomson remembers in the film discussions surrounding space. “I heard a lot of criticism at the time saying, ‘Boy, that is a lot of wasted space.' And I would usually say something like ‘Well, would you like me to fill up the building with bureaucrats?’ So, it is not a wasted space, it’s a celebration of space.” The film can be seen in its entirety exclusively on the MAS Context website.