It is April in Chicago and with it come the flowers, the warmer temperatures and the seasonal allergies that makes tissue-makers a fortune.
April in The Windy City also means it is time for the return of the Architecture & Design Film Festival, an annual event that brings together the two arts with a collection of 33 films, ranging from short documentaries to full-length features of great diversity and covering many different topics.
Last year was my first incursion into the young and modest festival when I joined a couple of my friends to watch How Much Does Your Building Weigh Mr. Foster?, a fascinating documentary on the life and work of Lord Norman Foster, one of the greatest architects of our time. By this time of last year I had just started this blog of mine, which had not yet taken such a decisive step towards the analysis and discussion of film. Because of that, I did not devote a single line of my experience in this blog.
This year I go into the festival with the desire to catch a few films that interest me as an architect and a cinephile. First of all are two very well-received documentaries, one called Detroit: Wild City and the other The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. From what I have read, both pieces are engrossing experiences that touch upon principles of urbanism and the decay of urban spaces and how that affects the lives of communities and entire cities. These are films that go well beyond architecture to explore the human ramifications of poor planning and economic shitfs.
Another film that might be worth checking out is the piece on Eames: The Architect and The Painter, which is the first full-length feature on the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the famed couple that went on to make a mark in architecture and furniture design. A.O. Scott from the New York Times called it “lively, gratifying…. appropriately busy and abundant: full of objects, information, stories and people, organized with hectic elegance”.
There are other pieces that might be worth checking out and I will hope to have the time and the company to enjoy this event as much as I can.