Tag Archives: Metropolis

7×7 Link Award

I must extend my gratitude to a couple of fellow film bloggers,  Scott Lawlor at Front Room Cinema and Chris at Moviesandsongs365 who have extended their kindness in my direction by making me an ever more involved part of the community and handing me the 7×7 Link Award.

Without further ado, here is what the award is all about:

The rules of the 7×7 Link Award:

Rule # 1: tell everyone something that no one else knows about you

Rule # 2: Link to one of the posts that you personally think best fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece and Most Pride-Worthy Piece.

Rule # 3: Pass this award on to seven other bloggers

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Architecture and Film: Fritz Lang’s vision

Being an architect by profession and a cinephile on my free time, you would think that after 59 posts and 10 months of blogging, I would have made the logical move towards a blog that catered to both, not as separate entities, but as one. Architecture and Film, Film and Architecture, two forms of art, one blogger to make sense of it all!

It is only now that I realize the interesting aspects of film that I could touch upon and analyze as it pertains to architecture. So with The Blog Of Big Ideas’ 60th post, it is finally time to bring Architecture and Film together.

Before we begin, it is important to consider what makes the two arts potentially relevant to the other and how each has the potential to contribute something of value, whether it be in terms of conceptual realization, spatial composition or set design. Architecture and Film share common goals that are not so obvious but that stand at the core of each profession. The most important is that both go through an exaustive process of editing that seeks to relate all aspects that make up a building or a story so that the whole is greater than the sum of its pieces. As much as film is concerned with the constant transition from one frame to the next, architecture is also concerned with the transition that exists between spaces, and between materials.

Continue reading Architecture and Film: Fritz Lang’s vision

IMDB Top 250: Blade Runner (1982)

My mission to watch all of the TOP 250 films listed in the IMDB site (as of March 22nd) has officially begun.

In picking the first movie of the long list of 124 films that still await to be viewed, I chose one of the few that I have always been interested in watching but never quite had the opportunity to do so. The movie is Blade Runner, released in 1982. It was directed by Sir Ridley Scott, who is also known for other great movies like Alien, Thelma & Louise and Gladiator. The film stars Harrison Ford, who was still at his prime having already been immortalized by his roles as Indiana Jones and Hans Solo in Star Wars.

It is clear from the very first scene (seen above) why this film is among the most influential motion-pictures ever made. Blade Runner relies heavily on the legacy of science fiction movies to create what was the most believable larger-than-life fictional environment in cinema’s history.

When analyzed from a purely visual perspective, Blade Runner takes many cues from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”, conceived over 50 years prior. Both present us with a highly machinized society that thrives on monstrous corporations and social disparities. Blade Runner depicts its version of Los Angeles in 2019, a mere 8 years away now. The first picture we get is that of a heavily industrialized, dense, compacted city of unbelievable scale. As the film progresses, so does our impression of this future. We are taken from the calm, organized, clean and luxurious upper stories of the presumably gigantic Tyrell Corporation to a street level that is compacted, dirty, noisy, diverse and hectic in every way imaginable. Within a few minutes, Blade Runner explores topics that go beyond the central storyline. The movie offers a rather critical perspective of a world dominated by corporations where technology has not necessarily contributed to the betterment of life on Earth. The disparity of riches is apparent, and it is clear that the vast majority does not benefit from the extreme industrialization that the world has undergone.

As a person that is usually inclined to appreciate the visual before any other aspect of a film, I was perhaps devoting a lot more of my attention to the environment so skilfully depicted in the film than to the story itself. However, I believe this is exactly the intention of the director. The objective was not so much on the details that made up the plot, but rather on how this story would gain life within the unique environment that was created around it.

The movie communicated, like very few have, a sense of place. When you follow Harrison Ford, you get a sense you’re just another passerby in the busy streets of futuristic Los Angeles. We are offered with an “inside look” that simultaneously and continuously delivers a sense of chaos, of foul smells, of political and social decay.

It is to Ridley Scott’s credit that the overall success of the film was not severely hampered by the linearity and flawed storyline. However, if analyzed rigorously, we will find that the story lacks pace, where we find characters that seem to be a few revolutions behind the world around them. Such a discrepancy in forward-motion lessens the visual impact of the film but not the extent one would expect.

The storyline is not especially rigorous either. There is a lack of attention to detail that makes us care less about the conclusion to the plot and wonder more about what the rest of the city looks and feels like.

For the artistry behind the making of the film, Blade Runner is certainly one of the most finely crafted science-fiction movies I have ever seen (and one of the most influential), which is not to say it should be considered in any way perfect, or as great as some of its predecessors.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Niels