Posts tagged with "Film":

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A new film explores the effect of mass incarceration on the American landscape

Although jails and prisons are physical sites, the effects of imprisonment are not confined to the buildings themselves: From Orange is the New Black to Broken On All Sides, television and films have explored the effect of prisons on the minds, lives, and communities of the incarcerated and formally incarcerated. Now, a new film from Canadian director Brett Story explores how incarceration has transformed the American landscape.
https://vimeo.com/105073038 The facts are out there: 2.2 million people are imprisoned in the U.S. today, and it's estimated that we spend $80 billion on incarceration each year. Instead dropping fact bombs, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes traces the ways mass incarceration affects the country's physical and social spaces through 12 vignettes, from a playground in L.A. designed to repel registered sex offenders, to Ferguson, Missouri, to Whitesburg, a Kentucky mining town whose economy is supported by a federal prison. The 87-minute documentary premiered at Columbia, Missouri's True/False Film Fest. The above mentioned L.A. pocket parks are not surrounded by barbed wire fences, or plastered with signs prohibiting pedophiles. The typology of the park itself is the deterrent: In the neighborhoods of Harbor Gateway and Wilmington, city officials encouraged the building of parks specifically to prevent sex offenders from being able live in the neighborhood. (By law, certain categories of sex offenders can't live or work within 2,000 feet of places where children congregate.) In the Bronx, a formerly incarcerated man sells care packages that comply with the restrictive rules on what's allowed though the mail in prison, while a woman in Marin County, California, details her job fighting forest fires. The film delves deep into the effects of incarceration in majority black communities like Ferguson, where filmmakers profile a woman who was sentenced to 15 days in jail for failing to pay a fine for a missing garbage can lid. If you love probing documentaries and hate prisons, check out the film's upcoming screenings here.
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Anti-capitalist film Koyaanisqatsi remade using only stock images

If Koyaanisqatsi was meant to strike us with fear about the perils of "moral corruption" and a "life out of balance," then Jesse England's contemporary remake does one of two things: It is either a hilarious, antithetical tongue-in-cheek reflection or a grim outlook of modern day life. England's aptly-named Koyannistocksi comprises the same shots as Godfrey Reggio's original, with the comical twist of only using stock images. https://youtu.be/LFBijDU8PpE Released in 1982, Koyaanisqatsi showed us images of nature, technology, and human interaction. Without any narration, it was accompanied only by a score by composer Phillip Glass that wouldn't be out of place in The Da Vinci Code. Together, Reggio, Glass, and cinematographer Ron Fricke's creation created a sense of impending doom. To summarize, Koyaanisqatsi intended to prompt viewers to reflect on how, in Reggio's words, "technology has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe." The trailer for Koyaanisqatsi can be seen above. Now, some 24 years later after the films release, Jesse England has taken a satirical side-swipe at Reggio's cult classic. Remaking the trailer without spending a single cent on footage, England uses stock images alongside Glass' infamous score. https://vimeo.com/162039610 He appears to proudly display his lack of effort to buy the selected shots by keeping the watermarks on display, with "iStock" or "Shutterstock" emblazoned unceremoniously across the screen. Koyannistocksi is hence born. Rather than reflecting on Reggio's work, is he instead building on it? Is he proving Reggio right? Unlike the naturally shot predecessor, his trailer's characters and interactions on display in Koyannistocksi are all staged, planned, and acted-out. Does this mean that we have come full circle? Our obsessive interaction with technology has rendered life fake and meaningless, stock footage being the best appropriation of modern life. Perhaps that may be delving a tad too far. England is notorious for his quirky creations: a comic sans typewriter and a camera that shoots images with a Google Streetview template are some of his other works. Speaking of Koyannistocksi, he says on his Vimeo page that it is a "testament to Reggio's influence on contemporary motion photography, and the appropriation of his aesthetic by others for commercial means." This isn't the first time the film has been the subject of satire. Glass' soundtrack can be heard in an episode of the comedy show Scrubs. https://youtu.be/KOqtnU2faTc
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Catch a Design Film at the Seattle 2016 ByDesign Film Festival

What could be better than film, urbanism, architecture, and design? When film, urbanism, and design unite, we get powerful and insightful results: there’s La Haine, a French film that follows three young men in the banlieues of Paris; there’s Mon Oncle, that pokes fun at the absurdities of residential Corbusian inspired architecture; and more recently films like My Architect, where Louis Kahn’s son seeks to know his father's work, and through his work, his father. For those of you in the Seattle area this week, a heads up: the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is hosting its annual design film festival, ByDesign 2016 that features films exploring architecture, art, urban design, and other design-related themes. The festival runs for four days: April 14-17.

BYDESIGN 2016 TRAILER (COURTESY NORTHWEST FILM FORUM)

NWFF is screening the German film, Beyond Metabolism, which looks at the impact of Metabolism, an architectural post-WWII movement in Japan (that could be a distant cousin to Brutalist architecture with its imposing, monumental concrete forms) through the lens of Sachio Otani’s Metabolist 1966 International Conference Center in Kyoto. Then there’s Getting Frank Gehry, that presents Gehry's controversial and first Australian-built project: the one-year-old tree-house-inspired Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, which serves as the home for the University of Technology business school in Sydney. Farther north, Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, delves into Todd Saunder's architecture—an inn and artist studios that populate a rugged island in Newfoundland and Labrador in eastern Canada. The Chinese film, The Land of Many Palaces investigates the intersection of urban relocation, development, real estate, ownership, and coal in China’s largest ghost city, Ordos City, located over 400 miles west of Beijing. Built by the government with the wealth of newfound Ordos coal deposits, officials are moving farmers living in the countryside to the newly developed urbanized area. “Neighbors and friends,” says a woman with a microphone in the movie trailer who appears to be a government representative addressing new residents, “We are trying to create a more civilized city.” The festival opens with a film staring artist Tom Sachs, A Space Program, who will attend the Seattle premier. If you live closer to New York City and Los Angeles, the two cities will play host to architecture and design film festivals this fall (filmmakers: there's an open call for submissions).
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Gary Hustwit's new film documents Foster + Partners' transformation of the workplace

Gary Hustwit, the director of documentaries Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized, has announced a new film, Workplace, in time for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Workplace follows the design and construction of R/GA's New York City headquarters. R/GA is one of the world's most prominent advertising agencies, with offices in 15 cities worldwide. Since its founding more than four decades ago, the agency has contributed to more than 400 feature films and over 4,000 television commercials. In collaboration with Foster + Partners, the agency spent a year and a half thinking about how to synthesize digital and physical space for a more harmonious office environment that facilitates collaboration and connects offices to the world outside. Hustwit explains that the theme of the documentary—improving office space—coincides perfectly with the Biennale's theme, "Reporting from the Front." In the words of Biennale director Alejandro Aravena: “There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life. We will present cases and practices where creativity was used to take the risk to go even for a tiny victory, because when the problem is big, just a one-millimeter improvement is relevant.” If this sounds familiar, it's because myriad firms, environmental psychologists, and student projects have tried to "rethink the office" already. It remains to be seen what Foster + Partners, with their experience designing workspaces for London's Bloomberg headquarters and San Francisco's Oceanwide Center, among others, will contribute to the conversation. At this time, no images of the office's interiors are available online. The film will premiere at the Biennale, and run from May 28 through November 27.
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Lautner's Sheats Goldstein Residence has been gifted to LACMA

James Goldstein has donated his landmark house, located on Angelo View Drive, Los Angeles, and designed by prolific West Coast architect John Lautner to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In addition, the dwellings contents and surrounding estate has also been included in the donation. In Pop-Culture, the house is most widely recognized for its appearance in the film The Big Lebowski. The dwelling commonly known as the Sheats Goldstein Residence includes an "infinity tennis court" (best not to hit it out of bounds), a James Turrell Skyspace, entertainment complex, and an extensive array of landscaped tropical gardens. Included as part of the contents of the house will be architectural models of the house, artistic works, and a 1961 Rolls Royce (pictured below). "Over the course of many meetings with Michael Govan, I was very impressed with his appreciation for the history of the house and the role it has played in the cultural life of Los Angeles, as well as with his vision for continuing that tradition when the house becomes an important part of LACMA's collections," Goldstein said. "Hopefully, my gift will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do the same to preserve and keep alive Los Angeles’s architectural gems for future generations.” https://vimeo.com/30456390 "Great architecture is as powerful an inspiration as any artwork, and LACMA is honored to care for, maintain, and preserve this house, as well as to enhance access to this great resource for architecture students, scholars, and the public," said LACMA CEO Michael Govan in a press release. "We are excited to collaborate with other arts institutions on events that speak to Jim’s interests and that connect and reach across creative disciplines—architecture, film, fashion, and art." The residence represents the unique relationship Goldstein and Lautner shared for more than three decades. Originally constructed in 1963 for Helen and Paul Sheats, Goldstein purchased the house in 1972 and began working closely with Lautner in 1979. Together they modified the house "according to Lautner’s and Goldstein’s ultimate vision," replacing all the glass to amplify the disparity between indoor and outdoor space. Other alterations saw the introduction of bespoke minimalist concrete seating (the seats we see "The Dude" aka Jeff Bridges sit on in The Big Lebowski), as well as glass and wood furnishings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShUhcBroF5Y The James Turrell Skyspace, named Above Horizon was added in 2004 and rises above the property's tropical gardens. Above Horizon also links to other works by Turrell in the LACMA domain, such as Ganzfeld Breathing Light, and the Perceptual Cell Light Reignfall.
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Elijah Wood and Simon Pegg back horror show museum at the Hotel from 'The Shining'

The Stanley Hotel, the Colorado inn that inspired Stephen King's horror book (later adapted into the film) The Shining has revealed plans to open a horror-based museum. Denver-based MOA Architecture will design the space, touted to cost $24 million, with backing from some of the biggest names in the horror genre. Featuring a horror film archive with both indoor and outdoor venues, the 43,000 square foot museum will also hold a film production studio with teaching spaces, a 3,000-square-foot soundstage, and a 500-seat auditorium. This isn't the first time the Stanley Hotel has openly used its horror pedigree as attraction. Earlier this year a competition was held for a 10,100-square-foot hedge maze that has now been built. Now, the hotel is running another competition for a sculptural intervention to accompany the maze. In case you're interested in a healthy dose of horror upon your stay, a discovery center within the modified hotel will showcase temporary exhibits with installations from popular horror shows and movies like the Walking Dead. The museum's board features a star-studded cast including actors Elijah Wood and Simon Pegg (known for their roles in Maniac and Shaun of the Dead), producer Daniel Noah, and distinguished horror director George A. Romero. "I would love to have a home we can come to year-round to celebrate the genre with other horror fans from around the world," Elijah Wood told ABC News. "There's really no better place for there to be a permanent home for this as an art form than the Stanley Hotel. It was practically built for it." To kickstart the project, other notable behind-the-scenes figures within the horror genre have made plans for exhibitions. Among them, artist of the Walking Dead comic book, Charlie Adlard; Rick Baker, a prominent makeup and special effects artist; and Clive Baker, a director and producer of notable horror films like Hellraiser and Candyman. Hoping to draw in horror fans from across the country, the hotel has made a bid for $11.5 million in film-center-generated state sales tax via the Colorado Regional Tourism Act. "The Stanley Film Center is my chance to give back to the millions of horror fans around the world who have supported Estes Park and the hotel for so many years," John Cullen, owner of the hotel, said. "At 109-years-old, the story of the Stanley Hotel is just beginning."
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Surveying the 2015 Architecture & Design Film Festival, going on now in New York City

Strange-and-Familiar-009-(HR)-copy Architecture & Design Film Festival New York Through October 18, 2015 It's that time of year again. The Architecture & Design Film Festival is back with a roundup of films on architecture, design, and the built environment. It's a great way of taking the pulse of what's going on here and abroad, and how work is being represented to a wider public. https://vimeo.com/117273601 The films fall into two genres—by architect or designer, and by building. In the former, there is Concrete Love (read AN's review here), a beautifully made film by Maurizius Staerkle Drux about three generations of Böhm family architects, including Gottfried, the only German to win the Pritzker Prize. Ove Arup: The Philosopher Engineer, Henning Larsen—Light and Space, SlingShot about Dean Kamen, David Adjaye - Collaborations, and Talking to My Father on Irish modernist Robin Walker. https://youtu.be/hq-1BIaFjGc Talking to My Father is part of a subgenre of films made by the children of architects including Nathaniel Kahn's My Architect: A Son's Journey (2003) in searching of his father, Louis Kahn and My Father the Genius (2002) about Lucia Small's father, Glen. Whereas these two children were estranged, Simon Walker was close to his father and became an architect himself. He is now burnishing his father's legacy, recalling his apprenticeships with Corbusier and Mies, and trying to save his buildings. In SlingShot, Kamen is presented as more than just the man behind the Segway; he is an inventive spirit and problem-solver who is devoted to cracking big problems like clean water, and health issues—things we are running out of time to resolve. https://vimeo.com/61684753 The building-based films include Under the Skin of Design about the making of Ravensbourne (formerly the College of Design and Communication in London), the last building by Foreign Office Architects, Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, where architecture by Todd Saunders shapes a program by the homegrown Shorefast Foundation to enliven this remote Newfoundland Island whose economy had nose-dived, Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion about the 1964 NY State Pavilion by Philip Johnson at the NY World's Fair (reviewed by AN here). https://youtu.be/MAPEioSNvDc The Infinite Happiness explores Bjarke Ingels' 8 House "vertical village" outside of Copenhagen. The film, which opened the festival, will give viewers a preview of VIA 57 WEST, the pyramid-shaped apartment building under construction on the far west side. Vignettes of mowing lawns, riding a unicycle, a children's treasure hunt, and a mailman offer glimpses of this self-contained world. An 8 House penthouse resident, Boris, who is originally from Bosnia, directly addresses Ingels: "Hello Bjarke. I think that... You are a madman. And that's with love. That's with affection. I think you created something of quality, something beautiful, something extraordinary... Is it living experiment? Is it social experiment? Is it just a product of the mad mind, extraordinary mind, a genius mind... I don't know what it is, but I feel privileged that I get a possibility to live (in) a place you built...Bjarke... I would like to borrow your brain, just a little."
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On View> Architecture & Design Films showcased in San Francisco Festival

All month the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) will present its Architecture & Design Films Showcase 2015 in downtown San Francisco, hailed as the West Coast’s largest showcase of architecture and design films. The New Rijksmuseum, a 2013 film directed by Oeke Hoogendijk opened the festival. With clarity and precision the documentary followed the ten year ordeal that was the renovation of the Amsterdam museum and the challenging battle and drama surrounding its reopening. Joel Shepard, YBCA’s film curator, said “this is the second year we’ve presented this very engaging series and it was such a hit last year that we decided to do it again. This time we have even more outstanding films, which were all selected for their diversity as well as because they represent a wide variety of new architecture, design, and related subjects.” Some titles that stand out are Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art, focused on what it’s title straightforwardly lays out, land art, and includes rare footage and interviews of storied artists Robert Smithson (Sprial Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field), and Michael Heizer (Double Negative) on October 29 and November 1. Maker, with the director Mu-Ming Tsai in person to present a film that looks into the current maker movement in America—a new wave of do-it-yourself and do-it-together fueled by passion and powered by new technologies, a topic particularly ripe for the Bay Area crowd. Two other titles to take note of are Christiania: 40 Years of Occupation and Making Space, a film that looks at five women changing the face of architecture. The showcase runs through November 8 and takes place at the YBCA Screening Room in San Francisco. A list of the films can be found at on the museum's website. Most show times are Thursday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
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Chicago Architecture Biennial releases full list of public programs and events

Get out your calendars. As The Chicago Architecture Biennial draws near to its October 3 debut, the festival's organizers have released a list of events and public programs that should help fill out your social schedule into December. You can peruse the whole list of events on the biennial's website. Features include lectures by Pritzker Prize–winning architects (like Thom Mayne); tours of Frank Lloyd Wright's SC Johnson Campus (which just opened for tours for the first time since its construction in 1950); and a film series exploring "architecture through the lens of cinema." The full list of biennial participants was released last month.
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New York's art house cinema IFC Center expanding with help from Kliment-Halsband Architects

Good news for film fans. New York City's IFC Art House cinema on Sixth Avenue is set to expand, increasing the number of screens from 5 all the way up to 11. The expansion by Kliment-Halsband Architects is a refreshing change in the cinema world which has seen numerous theaters close down this year. By using a vacant plot adjacent to the IFC site, the cinema will be able to increase its footprint from 10,300 square feet to 20,000 square feet. This enables it to almost double its capacity from 480 people to 940 which will no doubt generate further revenue—something crucial for independent cinemas in New York. Architects are moving one original screen to the basement to create a larger lobby to deal with the anticipated volume of people. The area will double as space for parties and receptions. The new extension borders Cornelia Street in New York's West Village, but it will not change the existing center's main entrance on 6th Avenue. Speaking to IndieWire, John Vanco, senior vice president and general manager of the IFC Center, said, "After years of being the top-grossing venue in the country for many terrific specialized films like Boyhood, Citizenfour, Blue Is the Warmest Color and each annual edition of the 'Oscar-Nominated Short Films,' as well as hosting the nation’s largest documentary film festival, DOC NYC, it’s become clear that the audience for IFC Center's programming keeps growing, so to accommodate them, IFC Center needs to grow, too.” Just six years ago the cinema only had three screens. The architects declined to comment further on the design.
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Thursday> The Elvis Zapp Urban Film Festival will knit together 60 one-minute design videos into a film unlike any other

ezuff The Elvis Zapp Urban Film Festival Projection showcases short videos on architecture urbanism. The brainchild of Andrew McNair, the festival is unlike any other film event devoted to design—and it's not to be missed. McNair holds and open call for videos of a minute or less. He edits these and present his festival in a one hour format. Now, Elvis Zapp will join forces with Steven Holl’s 32BNY and troll through its archive of “didactic architecture and city videos“ and show them alongside those submitted to McNair. The next festival will take place in New York City on Thursday, September 10, 8:30p.m. at Spectrum Space, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor. Don’t miss it!
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Calatrava says he's been treated "like a dog," but hey George Clooney is still a fan

Santiago Calatrava really wants you to stop blaming him for the very delayed and very over budget World Trade Center Transit Hub. All of your snark and rude comments have really gotten to him, which he recently revealed to the Wall Street Journal. “It has not been easy for me,” he said“I have been treated like a dog.” But there's now some good news that should help cheer up the Spanish starchitect: famous person George Clooney is staunchly on his side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=34&v=O6SinrRmuUU Clooney is in some new movie called Tommorowland that filmed at Calatrava's City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia, of which he is a big fan. At a recent press conference to promote the film, which took place on the modern campus, Clooney lavished praise on Calatrava. "This is an amazing place," he said. "If there's ever a question about whether or not there are dreamers in this world just come to look at this building, it is the most extraordinary place. There is such hope here, it's really fun to be in a place like this." The complex is striking, sure, but maybe Clooney hasn't heard about all the controversy and issues its run into over the years. We're talking ballooning budgets, crumbling facades, and lawsuits. As Susan Morris recently wrote on the AN Blog, Calatrava's City of Arts & Sciences is not the only high-profile piece of architecture featured in Tomorrowland. Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion has a cameo too.