Archives for category: film + cinema

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michael:

It seems there are a lot of trajectories that are overlapping at the moment as I make my way through the world. Inception has made it worse. I have always liked the Pig City Farm project by MVRDV. I also find some of their thinking about urban farming quite amusing. Animals and architecture have always had an uneasy alliance.Possibly it goes back to the primal scene in first year, where we designed a doghouse in week one.

Anyway, after seeing Inception I started thinking about Sigfried Giedeon again, and his writing about space and time which I have had to look at recently. However it drew me to his more obscure work about mechanisation and agriculture and, in particular, some half remembered images of pigs, whose world shifts momentarily from vertical to horizontal. In some ways it resembles the scene in Inception where a dream world is created independently by an “architect” independent of the person who is experiencing the dream. It must feel something like this for the pig as the horizontal abruptly becomes vertical, through this ingenious apparatus.

Maybe, it is the same quarter revolution that is described in Orwell’s Animal Farm, where pigs take control under the banner of “all men are enemies, and all animals are comrades!!”. The seed of an idea, buried in a psyche…Minor shifts have major reverberations…the architecture of power… more inception references…pigs in space. A little tenuous. Time for another poll:

sarah:

With a lifespan of 25 years, tonight was a milestone with the 6000th episode of Neighbours.  Well-established character Paul Robinson is pushed off the balcony of Lasseters in an act of attempted murder. And it was exciting, fresh, full of suspense with the quality of a feature film. The script, cinematography and acting was good. Yes, my opinion may be biased but only slightly. Although the daily post-work halfhour mindnumb everyday is much appreciated, I do appreciate Neighbours in a critical sense. Long interested in ‘credible’ forms of film and cinema of which many scholars have made much connection, my interests recently turn to television studies and the phenomena of longstanding TV serials such as Neighbours.

Contrary to the one off episode of a blockbuster film, it is intriguing is the way that Neighbours would be scripted around an everyday job. I imagine actors, like any other person, require sick days, take leave and change careers. Child actors go to school or at least have a basic education they need to undertake. Further to this, the show needs to run for an exact half hour and maintain space for commercial breaks, and constrain itself to some sort of network budget whilst striving for ratings. Major milestone episodes need to be planned to occur on a Friday, requiring a well-planned plot that is able to coordinate some tragedy for this time. After all these factors and considerations, the show needs to be interesting and have some sort of viable plot form which produces effective day to day drama.

Perhaps the bastard cousin of the network TV serial is commercial architecture; the brief for writing a Neighbours episode seems more complex than a commercial architecture firm attempting to design a shopping mall in Cessnock.

For more speculation on Neighbours ratings click here.

sarah:

Two medical students strangle a third and hide the body in a trunk. They proceed then to have a dinner party with the deceased’s parents, fiancé and school Dean. From the moment of murder the film tracks the relentless and discordant psychologies of Phillip and Brandon (and speculated homosexuality) in due course of the evening, and this is set entirely within their Manhattan apartment.

Hitchcock’s Rope is a technical masterpiece on the basis that is filmed in only nine cycles: the average feature film is constructed in over 1000. The architecture of the set allows this to happen with walls and furniture designed to slide away silently and film crew curiously orchestrated to give priority to camera movement. At center of both set and narrative is the box holding the dead body.

The original ‘cabinet of curiousity’ was a space of feverish thematic collection. Groups of these cabinets arranged in ambling trajectories preordained both the museum typology and cinematic narrative. Within the mass entanglement of roots that architecture has with film, the cabinet is a strong connection. Cabinet: an interior space of spectacle, the gaze, fetish, gender. Cue Freudian psychoanalysis, and everything returns to death and sexuality.

The set of Rope becomes a cabinet in its own right. We are witnessing feverish ideological fetish within an architectural frame, death at center. The spoken dialogue is at times unsubtle and macabre, yet it maintains balanced discourse on the morality of creating the Nietzschean Übermensch. Cue James Stewart with the chilling line: “Did you think you were God, Brandon?” and the imprint remains frozen in my mind.

To tackle this a step further perhaps the architecture of Rope loosely resonates with Foucault’s claim that the domestic interior is an apparatus of social control. I am not sure. Cue further research..