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Screen Online
Film as Film
Sense of Place
Evocation of Place
IntroductionClick here to Print this Page

There's a very close relationship between the language of film and the language of architecture.

Buildings, like film, are constructed materially and chronologically. That doesn't mean that the narrative of the film or the shape of buildings have to be chronological, it means that physically film (and now video) and buildings have to be physically constructed in a logical sequence: a sequence which has to work with movement.

Beyond that filmmakers can choose either to express the idea of architectural space or the experience of architectural space e.g. appreciation of light and shadow, angles, and still architectural detail or movement, generating an active human sense of the experience of architecture.

So, for instance, a film like Derek Jarman's Room on Sloane Square can lovingly capture the detail of living in a particular architectural space over a period of time [suggested by use of timelapse]. Or a film like Cordelia Swann's The Citadel can reveal the ideas suggested by architecture as she recasts the buildings of London to reveal how they convey ideas of power and permanence.

In Anne Tallentire's video Drift the movements of the unseen workers who maintain London's financial hub is documented. William Raban's recent films focus on the political implications of London's constantly evolving skyline, MM, for example, exploring the devastation in East London around the building of the ill fated millennium Dome. In Eyeballing, Rosalind Nashashibi finds shapes and faces in the architectural facades of the city, and documents the comings and goings of the New York police force. In The Streets Of…Stuart Marshall creates a humorous and illusionistic video portrait of San Francisco's tourist spots.

Still from Citadel

The Citadel

The imaginary journey of a woman through a city of beauty and desolation.

Still from The Black Tower

The Black Tower

A film about a man who believes he is being stalked by a black tower.

Still from  Drift


Each work in the Drift series is identified by the precise time when the first shot of a sequence of video is filmed.

Still from MM


In MM, the troubled frame of the Millennium Dome rears up, half-naked, surrounded by the rubble of its own building site.

Still from Eyeballing


A series of faces found in architectural facades or in objects around an apartment are juxtaposed with shots of policemen in uniform loitering around their precinct.

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