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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #6 Exposed

Much of the architecture on show in films doesn’t actually exist, as a location or even a set. Instead, buildings are conjured through the alchemy of models, matte paintings, photographs or computer-generated imagery. Miniatures have been used to represent the unbuilt or unbuildable for many decades, either on their own or in combination with live […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #5 Field of View

In the 1966 thriller The Quiller Memorandum, George Segal is sent to West Berlin to dismantle a neo-Nazi cell. Filming in a city where buildings hold particularly powerful associations, director Michael Anderson employs architecture as a metaphor for its past and its present. Segal meets his controller in the stadium built by the Third Reich […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #4 Day for Night

In the opening scenes of Patriot Games Jack Ryan foils an IRA plot to kill the Queen Mother’s cousin outside Buckingham Palace, preventing a car bomb from exploding and engaging in a lethal shoot-out with the terrorists. It is an exciting and involving moment, and sets up the revenge motive that drives the remainder of […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #3 Director’s Cut – Ken Adam

“You know, we need a set for that”. This reminder from director Terence Young to production designer Ken Adam during the making of Dr No not only resulted in a hastily-conceived yet brilliant solution from Adam for the ‘spider room’ – a small space dominated by a disquietingly sloping, forced-perspective roof whose circular grille casts […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #2 Depth of Field

Architecture, like film, acts at many scales. Suspense cinema in particular exploits this superbly, beginning with the smallest – the room. The four walls which surround us for most of the day are our world for those hours. But as much as they are just walls, they are also screens on which we project our […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film

In our new feature, Chris Rogers explores the relationship between the built and filmed environments. #1  Defining the Frame Before visual effects, there was reality. The earliest films were shot on location, in and around the buildings that filmmakers were familiar with. Houses, factories, stations; all were used to tell stories. And by using everyday […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

The Bradbury Building as featured in ‘The Artist’ (Dir. Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

A star in its own right, Los Angeles’ Bradbury building has featured in films as diverse as Double Indemnity, Blade Runner and (500) Days of Summer. Illuminated by a large central skylight and lined with ornate wrought-iron railings, the courtyard of the Bradbury stages a transition between interior and exterior. In Michel Hazanavicius’ recent (silent) […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

The bridges spanning the Los Angeles river as seen in ‘Mi Familia’ (Dir. Gregory Nava, 1995)

Continuing our tie-in series of articles to celebrate the launch of the World Film Locations book series, Isis Sadek looks at how the many bridges that span the iconic Los Angeles river were used to evoke both a sense of generational connectivity and disharmony in Gregory Nava’s epic Mi Familia. The bilingual multi-generational saga My […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

On Location: The LA River as seen in ‘Drive’ (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

The LA River is one of the most familiar sights in cinema, though many filmgoers might be hard-pressed to recognise it as a river. A hard-sided cement trench sluicing through the city, it’s rare to see it adorned with so much as a puddle. Indeed, this ‘river’ is a startlingly inauthentic place, empty and barren, […]