Festival Selection A
Wednesday 7th June (11:00 – 13:00)
Thursday 8th June (11:00 – 13:00)
Crossing Points, filmed in the 1936 Berlin Olympia Stadium and the Kuppelsaal, exploits the interplay between memory, history and architecture. Through the interweaving of these empty venues with two fencers performing a series of choreographed gestures, a dialogue between architecture and legacy is created. Olympic venues exist in contradictory states: designed primarily for intense action, but surviving in a state of suspended anticipation, part-functional, part commemorative – the architecture acting as ‘witness’ to the athletes/performers and subsequent histories. ‘Crossing Points’ is an aesthetic and spatial investigation into the relationship between the sporting figure, history and architecture.
This film depicts a geographical, architectural, and urban research study of a specific area in Shanghai.The reason why I chose to depict this area is that it strongly resembles the Grand Palais area in Paris. From an emotional standpoint, I have a deep attachment to both cities, having lived in both for many years. On the more practical side, I have made this film to express my concerns regarding the urbanisation and globalisation of Shanghai, elements of which have turned Shanghai into a science-fiction like landscape through the blending of pre-industrial and hypermodern elements. The images presented in this film are not meant to be viewed passively, I want the audience to observe and think through the subject matter freely.
3 Church Walks
3 Church Walk is a film about the modernist architect H.T. (Jim) Cadbury Brown’s Suffolk house that he and his wife Betty Dale designed and built in 1962 on a site originally ear marked by the composer Benjamin Britten for the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts’ first opera stage. H. T. (Jim) Cadbury-Brown was a British architect best known for his contribution to the design of the iconic Brutalist development of the Royal College of Art, and earlier work on pavilions for the Festival of Britain in the summer of 1951. The film is a journey through the house in its abandoned state as he left it when he died in 2009. The soundtrack is composed from recordings of the objects, surfaces and materials of the house, playing the house as if it were an instrument, much in the same way as Britten played car springs or tea-cups for his compositions, The Burning Fiery Furnace and Noye’s Fludde.
Beach House is a film about a unique example of rural modernism, built on the UK coast of Suffolk by architect John Penn. Penn was an architect, painter, musician and poet whose nine houses in East Suffolk are all built with uncompromising symmetry adhering to the points of the compass in their positioning in the landscape they use a limited language of materials and form that were influenced by his time spent working in California with Richard Neutra. They are Californian modernist pavilions in the Suffolk landscape. Beach House is John Penn’s most uncompromising design in terms of idea as form. The film combines an archive film made by Penn himself on completion of the house with experimental sound recordings made during the same period and material recently filmed in the house to explore a convergence of filmic and architectural language and allow the viewer to piece together Beach House in its past and present forms.
Last Dance on the Main
An animated documentary on the demolition of a row of historic buildings on Montreal’s St Laurent boulevard – also known as “The Main” – by politicians and building developers, and the resistance put up by the burlesque artists and the local community.
La condena (The Sentence)
Marc Nadal Manzanares
Based on real history. In 2014 there were and average of 189 evictions in Spain daily, 2 evictions every 15 minutes. This eviction was carried out at 5:00 PM.
From Light & Shadows
“The effervescent superfluity of light is one of the entropic instances to which we seek to bring order… Control over light, and its mediations through visual technologies, matters because it alters the constitutive grounds of sensing, knowing and relating to one another and to the world.” Sean Cubitt (2014, p.11) In this short meditative film essay illumination pours through an archetypical window mimicking the progression of sunlight throughout a day. Ambient noises of a bustling cityscape beyond the visible frame ebb and flow with the passage of illumination while French and English narration collide reciting a translated passage from the musing of revered cinematographer Henri Alekan. Created as part of my practice-led PhD which explores the journey of illumination from the source of light through to how and why the audience may engage with the moving image as parameters of its capture and display progress.
A palindromic film about the production of fake news and fake profits, and the impacts they have on the people who produce them.
W and M see the world differently. For W, a low-level government propagandist, objective reality is an illusion. Truth exists on a gradient and can be manipulated and distorted. For M, a financial executive, the world of business is a large image-making machine. Every business deal is just another set of mirrors or lenses to position. These abstract world views creep into the lived experiences of both characters, with unexpected consequences.
This film is experimental. It is a mirror, playing forwards and backwards simultaneously, the characters’ worlds intersecting halfway through. The production techniques were adopted from real Russian propaganda agencies, covertly filmed in false locations, Paris standing in for Seoul. The entire form of the film and its production accurately reflect the characters’ abstracted world-views.
Dir. Adam Kossoff
Narrated by Lenny Henry, Animal Architecture tells the story of Dudley Zoo, a World Heritage Site, and the restoration of its unique modernist animal enclosures. Shot on 16mm film it emulates the black and white documentary style of the 1950’s Free Cinema movement and shows how Bernard Lubetkin’s 1937 designs gave as much importance to the architecture as they did to the welfare of the animals.
Features Fractures Frames
Thomas Parker, Thomas Pearce & AA Students
FEATURES FRACTURES FRAMES is an ongoing research project that explores 3D Lidar scanning, feature recognition algorithms, generative drawing and rule-based editing as filmic techniques. It disobeys the spatial continuity, unity and realism of 3D scanned scenes by re-imagining geometrical features not as conventional references for scan alignment but instead as temporal pivots in spatially fractured sequences. In its knowingly absurd taxonomic pursuit of formal similarity of geometrical features and their obsessive structuring in frequencies and frame counts, it blurs reality, fantasy, time and space. Common three-dimensional features between geographically and thematically unrelated point clouds provide continuity in a rule-based montage that jitters between scales, locations and coordinate systems.
The film was produced during a one-day student workshop at the Architectural Association.
Festival Selection B
Wednesday 7th June (16:45 – 17:30)
Thursday 8th June (16:15 – 17:00)
Il Grande Cretto di Gibellina
An enormous shroud of white cement covers a hillside in the remote of western Sicily. It is both land art and a memorial to the town of Gibellina that was devastated by an earthquake in January 1968. It’s a work by the Italian artist Alberto Burri. He covered the ruins of the town with white cement and fissures function as pathways that wind through an area of roughly 20 acres. Petra Noordkamp captures Il Grande Cretto di Gibellina by Alberto Burri as an experentiental work of art filled with a sense of place and history.
‘Tilt’ is an experimental film which creates a contemporary parallel of an Enlightenment World, employing current museological digital imaging technologies as devices to penetrate the surface of scientific and artistic objects. The film uncovers how new 3D imaging techniques utilized by museum conservation departments bypass the need to directly incise into material culture, instead providing a surrogate and abstracted experience of objects for public consumption. The film draws from the Royal Academy of Arts Collections and Archives, folding in material from other London institutions such as the Burlington Courtyard Learned Societies and the Imaging and Analysis Centre at the Natural History Museum.
Fragments on Machines
Fragments on Machines reveals the physical framework and materiality of the Internet, a vast network often thought and spoken about solely in abstract terms. The title is adopted from a text by Karl Marx, in which he seeks to trace the inversions that mark the relationship between man and machine in the production process of capital whereby, through increased automation, the machine ends up no longer as a tool at the hands of the workers, but as an increasingly dominant power. Taking New York City as its central focus and interwoven with a fictionalised narrative, the film observes the evolution of architecture in the city to accommodate the material nodes and connectors that comprise the physical manifestation of the virtual world. New York is home to many of the great buildings that symbolise nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial capitalism. Today, it is significant that a number of these Art Deco skyscrapers located predominantly in the Financial District have become the containers for the infrastructure of the Internet and virtual capital. These grand monuments of brick and steel are now homes to the servers and computers that drive post-industrial finance capitalism. Highly elusive yet pervasive in their nature, data centres consist of room upon room of copper and fibre-optic cables, computer servers and ventilation systems. With direct links to the companies they serve, these Internet hubs become a kind of unofficial space for trade.
Thursday 8th June
14:30 – 15:45
Zaha: An Architectural Legacy
Dir. Laura Mark and Jim Stephenson
ZAHA: An Architectural Legacy looks back on Zaha Hadid’s life and the progress of her remarkable career through a series of her key buildings. Featuring interviews with friends and colleagues, including Eva Jiřičná, Patrik Schumacher, Nigel Coates, Giovanna Melandri, Hanif Kara and Ricky Burdett the film is shoot on location in Italy, Germany and England.
Q&A with Laura Mark and Jim Stephenson
Thursday 8th June
14:00 – 14:26
Vienna waits for you
Dir. Dominik Hartl, Chile – Austria, 2012
German with Eng subtitles
Chile – Austria
Anna should have had a closer look at the fine-print of her rental contract – for the old Viennese apartment she occupies is a creature with never ending appetite, living off the youth of its residents.
In partnership with ArqFilmFest and the Embassy of Chile in the UK
Friday 9th June
12:20 – 14:10
Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Dir. John Maybury
In the 1960s, British painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) surprises a burglar and invites him to share his bed. The burglar, a working class man named George Dyer, 30 years Bacon’s junior, accepts. Bacon finds Dyer’s amorality and innocence attractive, introducing him to his Soho pals. In their sex life, Dyer dominates, Bacon is the masochist. Dyer’s bouts with depression, his drinking and pill popping, and his satanic nightmares strain the relationship, as does his pain with Bacon’s casual infidelities. Bacon paints, talks with wit, and, as Dyer spins out of control, begins to find him tiresome. Could Bacon care less?
Friday 9th June
13:15 – 15:00
Architecture & Politics
Screenings and talk with guests.
Guests: Birgite Sigmundstand, Kjetil Jakobsen & Daniel Schwartz
Chaired by Manuel Toledo
The indisoluble relation between Architecure and Politics examined by three films where architecture keeps playing a vital role despite the feailure of politics.
- Hammersborg. Protecting the Bygone Future (dir. Birgite Sigmunstad)
- Torre David (dir. Markus Kneer and Daniel Schwartz)
- El Elefante Blanco [The White Elephant] (dir. Felipe Egaña)
Friday 9th June
15:15 – 15:40
Dir. Aurèle Ferrier
INFRASTRUCTURES involves a journey through a landscape of infrastructures that are common to an everyday reality of routine. Yet here we find these environments are deserted. This allows attention to focus instead on the design and spatial arrangements of the objects, we find the features of these landscapes – which would not usually bear noticing – become centrally present.
The film involves a series of seven tracking shots. A steady flow of objects in various contrived arrangements passes by the eye. The sound design incorporates the subtle noises given off by these ready-to-use sites devoid of users. Produced in Dolby Surround, the soundtrack both evokes the physical experience of the location and creates a dialogue with these structured spaces and the arrangement and design of the objects therein.
Friday 9th June
16:00 – 17:30
Screenings and talk with guests.
Guests: Helene Hokland & Cristóbal Palma
Chaired by Manuel Toledo
Human productive activities like mining, developes new perspectives on the intervention of our natural landscape. Extreme locations where human activities are conditioned by extreme conditions and the way architecture is challenged when scales are out of human reach.
- Hollow Earth (Dir. Emilija Škarnulytė & Tanya Busse)
- Pilling Up (dir. Cristóbal Palma)
Sunday 11th June
13:10 – 13:35
Architecture & Memory
We experience our built environment in very different ways, and from very early in our lives. Places embeded with tradition, our history, feelings and own identities. Elements impossible to dissociate from architecure. This selection celebrate the importance of architecture in our lives and memories.
- Minka, a farmhouse in Japan (Dir. Davina Pardo)
- The Last Keyholder (dir. Robert Migas)