"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet."

Twelve Categories to Study Film and Architecture Relationship

In Architecture, Design, Film, The Art of Film on March 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

The topic “film and architecture” has ignited discourses from various viewpoints. Some are quite simple such as architect in major role or architecture as background, while others are more critical, probing into the structuring of the film. This article will categorize some of these existing ideas of how a film should be studied in the light of architectural discourse.

Film and architecture has been one of the most discussed topic among those involved in either discipline. There are separate views of how to evaluate the subjects and where are they linked. Though for every film there has to be some architecture in the designing of the background set involved, it is not only the set that becomes the subject of the study. And there is another less critical understanding of film and architecture where an architect is involved as a major or influential character of the story. But mostly it is the ordering of the sequence, dynamics in the arrangement of the storyline, and the spatial organization of the shot divisions where mainly critics find the similarity of the art and structure of architecture in the same of the film. Therefore these films may or may not have any direct relation with architecture either as a set or as a character. “Stalker” or “Nostalghia” by Andrei Tarkovsky or more recent example of “Run Lola Run” is studied in such perspective. However while talking about film and architecture, the movies that are always pointed out as examples can be divided in certain categories. 12 such categories are listed below with some of the examples of films.

Andrei Tarkovsky on the set of Stalker

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/212833_twelve-categories-to-study-film-and-architecture-relationship#ixzz1FpO1HvfY

1: architect as a major character in film

Examples: 12 Angry Men, Belly of an Architect, Indecent Proposal, The Black cat, and more famously The Fountainhead

Category 2: life of an architect

Example: In which Annie gives it those ones

Category 3: architecture as a metaphor to enhance the theme of the story

Examples: Alphaville, Brazil, Dr. Strangelove, La Jetee, Nostalghia, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Category 4: criticism of architecture/modern urban surrounding

Examples: Mon Oncle, Playtime, Sleeper

Mon Oncle, Jaques Tati

Category 5: experimenting with the structure of the film similar to architecture

Example: Tango, The Man with a Movie Camera, Wavelength

The Man with a Movie Camera

Category 6: Famous architecture/ building used as background set of the film

Example: Blade Runner, Le Mepris, Gatacca

Category 7: imaginary architecture in film

Examples: Aelita, Batman series, Just Imagine, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars

Category 8: Imaginary architecture in Animation

Examples: Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, On your Mark, Dragon Hunter

Category 9: Space architecture in film

Examples: 2001 A Space Odyssey, First Men in the Moon, Outland, Solaris, Total Recall

Category 10: architecture of the future

Examples: Blade Runner, Just Imagine, Metropolis, Minority Report

Blade Runner

Category 11: films that have similar artistic origin in composing space and time

Examples: Buffet Froid, Casanova, Drowning by Numbers, Europa, Memento, Run Lola Run


Category 12: feature length documentary films

Examples: My Architect, Sketches of Frank Gehry


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