Sunday, November 15, 2009

film+architecture, Harvard Design School, course introduction

Harvard Design School
course introduction

Film+Architecture (F+A) presents an architectural film series each semester. Films are preceded by a speaking engagement by an invited guest, both from within and outside of the Harvard community. All lectures/films are open to the public and hosted in Piper Auditorium at Gund Hall.

TheDesign of Time in Cinema
spring 2002 film series

dir: Tom Tykwer
cast: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu

After fiddling some money Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) has to deliver 100000 DM. Unfortunately he leaves the cash in the subway - a dosser (Joachim Krol) is very happy about that. Now there are 20 minutes remaining for Manni to deliver the money otherwise he's for the high jump. Desperately he phones his girl-friend Lola (Franka Potente) who helped him out of every situation so far. Will she be able to get 100000 DM in twenty minutes. Well, there are different ways to do that...

dir: Alejandro Gonzalez I��rritu
cast: Emilio Echevarr�a, Gael Garc�a Bernal, Goya Toledo

Three stories: Octavio is a young aimless loser who lives in a barrio and has an obsessive crush on his sister-in-law, Susana, who is married to Ramiro, an abusive hoodlum. Meanwhile, Daniel, a succesful editor, has ditched his wife and children to live in a dream apartment with Valeria, a shallow and neurotic supermodel. On the other hand, El Chivo, a bitter ex con turned hitman, haunts the life of a pretty young girl with whom he has a secret relationship and gets a commission to kill a wealthy and philandering businessman. These lives and the fates of two dogs get inextricably entangled in the heart of ever-changing, ever violent Mexico City.

MEMENTO [2001]
dir: Christopher Nolan
cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Leonard Shelby wears expensive, tailored suits, drives a late model Jaguar sedan, but lives in cheap, anonymous motels, paying his way with thick wads of cash. Although he looks like a successful businessman, his only work is the pursuit of vengeance: tracking and punishing the man who raped and murdered his wife. His suspicions dismissed by police, Leonard's life has become an all-consuming quest for justice.

The difficulty, however, of locating his wife's killer is compounded by the fact that Leonard suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss. Although he can recall details of life before his "accident," Leonard can't remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he is, where he's going, or why.

ROPE [1948]
dir: Alfred Hitchcock
cast: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Cedric Hardwicke

Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David's father, his fianc�e Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect.

dir: Stanley Kubrick
cast: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards

After getting out of prison, Johnny Clay masterminds a complex race-track heist, but his scheme is complicated by the intervention of the wife of a teller (George Peatty) in on the scheme, the boyfriend of the wife, airport regulations, and a small dog.

LA JETEE [1962]
dir: Chris Marker
cast: Jean N�groni, H�l�ne Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Earth lies ruined in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, in hopes of sending someone back to the pre-war world in search of food, supplies, and hopefully some sort of solution to mankind's imminent demise. The protagonist is a man whose retention of a single, vague childhood memory (that of witnessing a murder on the jetty at Orly airport) is the basis for his being chosen to travel back in time. His journey leads him towards an enigmatic and paradoxical destiny.

dir: Terry Gilliam
cast: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe

When mental patient Cole is sent back in time to find information on a deadly virus that will destroy 5,000,000,000 members of the human race in 1996-1997, he mistakingly arrives in 1990. After explaining his plea to Dr. Kathryn Railly, he is placed in a mental institution. In 1996, he kidnaps Railly, using her to find the 12 Monkeys, a group of revolutionists that are planning to release the virus into select cities. But, he is wanted by the athorities for murder and kidnapping, plus he refuses to return to the future; he is in love with Railly.

Giuliana Bruno
film scholar, professor of visual and environmental sciences: Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Giuliana Bruno is Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. Since 1991, she has taught an on-going seminar on the relation between film and architecture. She also regularly teaches other courses cross-listed with the Graduate School of Design on topics such as the moving image and visual representation, and various aspects of the cultural study of space, including the mapping and fashioning of space.

Her most recent book is Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture and Film to be published by Verso this coming April.

Atlas of Emotion traverses a varied landscape with forays into the fields of geography, architecture, design, cartography, and film to chart a cultural history of spatio-visual arts. In such an interdisciplinary way, the book explores the relation of cinema to other sites, "fashioning" in particular the bond of the moving image to architecture, travel culture, and the history of the visual arts, as well as its connection to the arts of memory and that of map-making. Focussing on the representation of affects and place, Atlas of Emotion theorizes the link between motion and emotion. This is an affective mapping of space that ultimately puts us in touch with mental landscapes and inner worlds.

Nancy Levinson
architect, co-founding editor: Harvard Design Magazine

Nancy Levinson is an architect, writer, and editor. She received the master of architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced for several years, before turning her attention to books and magazines. In the past decade she has written many articles about architecture, landscape, and urbanism for periodicals in the United States and abroad. A co-founding editor of "Harvard Design Magazine," she was, until recently, co-editor of that publication. A fan of film for many years, she spent the time between college and architecture school writing movie reviews for an alternative newspaper. More recently, she contributed a chapter on the fictional portrayal of architects in the movies -- from "The Fountainhead" to "Indecent Proposal" -- to the anthology "Architecture and Film," published by Princeton Architectural Press.


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