Architecture in Cinema - Cinema in Architecture

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Architecture in Cinema - Cinema in Architecture

Postby usarender » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:37 pm

""Architecture In Cinema - Cinema In Architecture

Architecture and cinema articulate lived space

Both forms of art define the dimensions and essence of existential space; they both create experiential scenes of life situations.

An architect who made superb projects both as a designer of buildings and set designer was Paul Nelson. His project Maison Suspendue (1936-38), a house in which individual rooms are suspended withing a steel-and-glass cage like bird nests, is as fantastic as any of the ideas expressed through the art form of projected illusion. Vice versa, one could speculate on the kind of buildings the wizards of cinema architecture would have built had they not decided to devote their architectural talent to the service of the illusory art of cinema

Furthermore, we could take the influence of cinema on today's architecture as our subject of study. Vincent Korda's visions of multi-storey atria in Things to Come, for instance, have fully materialized, five decades later, in John Portman's gigantic hotel projects. Portman's projects are an example of an architecture which cold-bloodedly serves the economic interests of the developer, utilizing means of persuasion deriving from stage sets designed for cinematic spectacles. The thematized architecture produced by the Walt Disney Corporation during the past decade with the help of a host of international star architects, also reverts to the strategy of illusion and seduction familiar from film. But even artistically more serious architecture today often seeks its inspiration and visual strategy from the language of movies. Jean Nouvel, for instance, declares cinematic imagery and experience as a significant inspiration for his architectural work:

Architecture exists, like cinema, in the dimension of time and movement. One conceives and reads a building in terms of sequences. To erect a building is to predict and seek effects of contrast and linkage through which one passes (...). In the continuous shot/sequence that a building is, the architect works with cuts and edits, framings and openings (...). I like to work with a depth of field, reading space in terms of its thickness, hence the superimposition of different screens, planes legible from obligatory joints of passage which are to be found in all my buildings (...).

Material and Lived Space

Instead of the themes outlined above, the essays in this book center on cinematic architecture as such, in other words, the architecture of imagery expressed in films. I am interested in the ways cinema constructs spaces in the mind, creates mind-spaces, reflecting thus the inherent ephemeral architecture of human mind, thought and emotion. The mental task of buildings and cities is to structure our being-in-the-world and to articulate the surface between the experiencing self and the world. But doesn't the film director do exactly the same with his projected images?

Houses are built in the world of Euclidian geometry, but lived space always transcends the rules of geometry. Architecture structures and 'tames' meaningless Euclidian space for human habitation by inserting into it existential meanings. Lived space resembles the structures of dream and the unconscious, organized independently of the boundaries of physical space and time. Lived space is always a combination of external space and inner mental space, actuality and mental projection. In experiencing lived space, memory and dream, fear and desire, value and meaning, fuse with the actual perception. Lived space is space that is inseparably integrated with the subject's concurrent life situation. We do not live separately in material and mental worlds; these experiential dimensions are fully intertwined. Neither do we live in an objective world. We live in mental worlds, in which the experienced, remembered and imagined, as well as the past, present and future are inseparably intermixed. 'Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined?,' Italo Calvino asks, and continues: 'Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.'10 The modes of experiencing architecture and cinema become identical in this mental space, which meanders without fixed boundaries. Even in the art of architecture, a mental image is transferred from the experiential realm of the architect to the mental world of the observer, and the material building is a mere mediating object, an image object.11 The fact that images of architecture are eternalized in matter, whereas cinematic images are only an illusion projected on the screen, has no decisive significance. Both art forms define frames of life, situations of human interaction and horizons of understanding the world.

Lived space is not uniform, valueless space. One and the same event - a kiss or a murder - is an entirely different story depending on whether it takes place in a bedroom, bathroom, library, elevator or gazebo.

Further info below, and soon to follow...

Architecture in Cinema

The Realities of Image and Imagination

The essence of architectural space as determined by an artist, is free of the functional requirements, technical restrictions and limitations of the professional conventions of architects. The architecture conceived by artists is a direct reflection of mental images, memories and dreams; the artist creates an architecture of the mind. Yet, even the works of architects, built in matter, obtain their psychic content and echo from the very same existential experiences and images accumulated in the human mental constitution. Even real architecture can affect our soul only if it can touch the datum of forgotten memories and feelings.

The Mental Reality of Place

Place and event, space and mind, are not outside of each other. Mutually defining each other, they fuse unavoidably into a singular experience; the mind is in the world, and the world exists through the mind. Experiencing a space is a dialogue, a kind of exchange - I place myself in the space and the space settles in me.



http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/faculties/E ... Pallasmaa/.


Images of Light and Matter


Man and space are one. 'I am the space where I am,' as Noël Arnaud claims.

As the spatial language of Hitchcock's films is close to the architectural metaphysics of Hopper's paintings, so Tarkovsky's visual compositions derive from the frontal confrontation of space in Renaissance paintings. Space does not move, it is. The architecture of Tarkovsky's films evokes the paintings of Giotto, Fra Angelico, Leonardo, van Dyck, Brueghel and Holbein. The intimate monumentality and monumental intimacy of Giorgio Morandi's still-lifes can likewise be senses in his imagery.

Hitchcock's urban views and spaces are characterized by the threatening shadows and frustrated waiting of surrealist paintings. Tarkovsky's buildings evoke a melancholic dimension of time and a tender memory of homecoming. Tarkovsky's time has lost its absoluteness and linearity, time is present as an unfocused longing and patina of remembrance.

The Logic of Emotions

Yet even buildings are devoid of emotion; a work of architecture obliges us - in the same way as literature and cinema - to lend our emotions and place them in it. The buildings of Michelangelo do not mediate feelings of melancholy, they are buildings fallen into melancholy, or more precisely, we confront our own melancholy in them.

Architecture in Cinema, Cinema in Architecture


Note: To see the link, just click on the Blue text above.

The Stairs of Cinema

Architectural imagery and the articulation of space create the basic dramatic and choreographic rhythm of any film. The masters of cinema clearly identify the most potent encounters of architecture, such as: the image of the house in the landscape; the mask-like appearance of the facade; the role of doors and windows as mediators between two worlds and as framing devices; the intimacy and domesticity projected by a fireplace; the focusing and ritualizing role of a table; the privacy and secrecy of a bed, the sensuality of a bath, etc. Stairs and staircases have an especially central role in cinematic dramaturgy. 'The staircase is the symbolic spine of the house,'35 in Peter Wollen's view. Stairs have the same significance to the vertical organization of the house as the spine to the structure of the body. Besides the door, the stair is the element of architecture which is encountered most concretely and directly with the body. To be precise, a stair is not an 'architectural element', but rather one of the primary architectural images. Works of art in general are not composed of visual 'elements', they constitute lived images and fantasies underlying our recollections, and the parts always acquire their meaning through the whole, not vice versa.

The staircases of cinema reveal the innate asymmetry of the stair, rarely thought about by architects. Rising stairs end in Heaven, whereas descending stairs eventually lead down to the Underworld. The image of a staircase also resembles the imagery of the labyrinth; a staircase is a vertical labyrinth.

The Meaning of the Invisible

A masterful artist makes the viewer/reader think, see and experience other things than what he/she is actually being exposed to.

The value of a great film is not in the images projected in front of our eyes, but in the images and feelings that the film entices from our soul.

A powerful experience of architecture likewise, turns our attention outside itself. The artistic value of great architecture is not in its material existence but the images and emotions that it evokes in the observer. A great building makes us experience gravity, time and - ultimately - ourselves, in a strengthened and meaningful way.

A positive architectural experience is basically a strengthened experience of Self which places one convincingly and comfortingly into the continuum of culture, enables one to understand the past and believe in the future.""


Lived Space in Architecture and Cinema
usarender
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Postby usarender » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:46 pm

Material and Lived Space

Houses are built in the world of Euclidian geometry, but lived space always transcends the rules of geometry. Architecture structures and 'tames' meaningless Euclidian space for human habitation by inserting into it existential meanings. Lived space resembles the structures of dream and the unconscious, organized independently of the boundaries of physical space and time. Lived space is always a combination of external space and inner mental space, actuality and mental projection. In experiencing lived space, memory and dream, fear and desire, value and meaning, fuse with the actual perception. Lived space is space that is inseparably integrated with the subject's concurrent life situation. We do not live separately in material and mental worlds; these experiential dimensions are fully intertwined. Neither do we live in an objective world. We live in mental worlds, in which the experienced, remembered and imagined, as well as the past, present and future are inseparably intermixed. 'Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined?,' Italo Calvino asks, and continues: 'Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.'10 The modes of experiencing architecture and cinema become identical in this mental space, which meanders without fixed boundaries. Even in the art of architecture, a mental image is transferred from the experiential realm of the architect to the mental world of the observer, and the material building is a mere mediating object, an image object.11 The fact that images of architecture are eternalized in matter, whereas cinematic images are only an illusion projected on the screen, has no decisive significance. Both art forms define frames of life, situations of human interaction and horizons of understanding the world.

The link again (Just click on the blue letters) -->>

Lived Space in Architecture and Cinema

The Silver Screen of Architecture

THE NEW SILVER SCREEN OF ARCHITECTURE - Main Link

(To view the forum postings, just click on the blue letters above).
usarender
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Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 1:22 am
Location: San Diego, Ca


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