In light of the film awards season, let’s talk film and architecture.
Tina Lam, student landskapsarkitektur NMBU, nettredaktør
Last year was a strong year for architecture and art in films. Most noticeable was perhaps Denis Villeneuve’s bold attempt at following Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Whether you liked it or not, the architecture alone was worth the hours. One of the many highlights was Barozzi Veiga’s unbuilt Neanderthal Museum coming to life in the form of Wallace’s office. And to add on to the Ridley Scott universe, Alien Covenant was a celebration, (or perhaps an atonement for Prometheus) of art history and H.R Giger’s biomechanical landscapes. In one of the most prominent scenes, David is in a sterile room surrounded by iconic objects such as the Bugatti throne and a Steinway piano while Wagner’s ‘Entry of the Gods into Valhalla’ plays. Other non-Sci-Fi films worth mentioning are Sean Baker’s soothing and funny The Florida Project (Release in Norway this February) with its saturated color palette and absurd architecture, as well as Columbus, a tale about two people bonding over Columbus’ (Indiana) architecture. Columbus also gets a shout-out for including an Asian male lead who is neither STEM nerd nor sidekick. Last, we have to mention Joachim Trier’s Thelma, which included a myriad of grand shots of Oslo’s architecture, most notably including views of the University of Oslo and the Opera.
Not only is it awards season now, it is also the start of a new festival year. If your heart desires a different kind of film festival, check out Arkitekturfilm Oslo this February (9-11). This is a film festival dedicated to all things architecture; from feature films where architecture plays an important role to documentaries about the creative minds behind the buildings. For the third year running, Arkitekturfilm Oslo continues with its previous format and collaborates to divide the screenings between Cinemateket, Kunstnernes Hus and Rom for Kunst og Arkitektur. Each establishment represents a different approach to the conveyance of arts and culture, and the three, along with their varied film screening selections form a platform where architecture intersects art, film and social criticism. This year’s theme is the aesthetics of the 20th century, “… a turning point in a world where there is no longer one direction… From now on everything is decided by the spectator and where he or she may stand… The understanding of life and art is from now on subjective”. The 2018 program includes 12 films with something for everyone; whether you enjoy traditional feature films or art documentaries, Arkitekturfilm Oslo has got you covered. This year even includes two films especially suited for children, the gorgeous Howl’s moving castle (2004) and nostalgic The Secret Garden (1993). Among the curated works this year are two documentaries devoted to architects Rem Koolhaas (Rem) and Bjarke Ingel (Big Shot). Last year’s screenings sold out pretty quickly; you have been warned.