A bi-monthly series of film screenings that offer an expanded view of how architecture and the city are represented and discussed across cinema, documentary and art. Presented within the singular architecture of London's Barbican Centre.
The series incorporates UK premieres, chaired discussions, reprise screenings and curated programmes, contextualised through commissioned programme notes, introductions and Q&As.
Architecture on Film is programmed by Justin Jaeckle for The Architecture Foundation.
The Barbican Centre
Two UK premieres and two distinctive looks at the inner lives and afterlives or radical contemporary architecture. Followed by a Q+A with all filmmakers, chaired by Sam Jacob (FAT)
Depicting the future through a collage of the present. Followed by a Q+A with the director, production designer and Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG; available to watch online in full.
An essential documetary on the world's greatest urban film lot. Introduced by Kodwo Eshun, writer, theorist and artist.
A mesmeric feature film documenting the last days of an informal neighbourhood before its transfer to a planned development. Introduced by Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound.
Suburban Dreams: An evening dedicated to the American suburb. Introduced by Geoff Shearcroft, AOC Architecture.
Spaceship Earth and the Designer Guru: Two films documenting architectural alternatives, and a countercultural response to visionary architect Buckminster Fuller.
The private life of urban infrastructure envisioned through a uniquely personal take on direct cinema, in an award winning documentary on the construction of Mexico City's Periferico Freeway. Introduced by Gareth Jones, L.S.E.
Two exceptional psycho-geographical wanderings through the changing face of London at the end of the 20th century.
A masterful film about the distance between problems and solutions,
structures and people – and therein perhaps the true core essence of
architecture itself. A rare opportunity to see the work of this modern
master on the big screen.
Magical cinema that takes a keen look at the transformation and inhabitation of Barcelona's El Raval district, as both a window onto wider realities and as a bridge between the past and the future. A document of a city, ‘searching for its future while jostling its past.'
Corporate arcadias, a mosaic of global urban sprawl, the ‘superlandscape’ of anonymity, and the greatest show on earth in Jem Cohen's Chain, and artist Dan Graham's short film Death By Chocolate - which we are delighted to be bringing to the UK for the first time.
Directed, staring and co-written by David Byrne (Talking Heads), True Stories weaves tabloid tales, musical numbers, economics and urbanism into a warm-hearted absurdist portrait of a small fictional Texan town and its inhabitants. ‘A completely cool, multi-purpose movie.’
A pair of films examining architecture from the building block to mind control from esteemed filmmaker Harun Farocki, whose work - situated in a unique space between fine art and film in practice - produces visual essays in equal parts poetry and politics.
The UK Premiere of Sarah Morris's latest urban portrait, Beijing, preceded by a screening of her very first film, Midtown. We are delighted to have the artist with us on the evening for a Q&A following the screening.
An award winning document of a subterranean community in the tunnels beneath New York City, from a filmmaker who spent two years underground with his subjects and collaborators. Plus, artist Gordon Matta-Clark's parallel 1976 16mm sketchbook of NYC's sewers, crypts and tunnels.
The Motor City's past and present - a UK Premiere and archival footage. Plus a Q&A with Detroit Wild City director, French artist Florent Tillon.
Rem Koolhaas’s 1960s cinematic exploits gain their UK Premiere. We are delighted to announce that the screening will be introduced by Shumon Basar and Rem Koolhaas, in person.
A pair of personal responses to the movie capital’s other painted backdrops from two of the world’s greatest documentary filmmakers, exploring the city’s mural culture over 30 years. Introduced by Stuart Comer, Curator of Film, Tate Modern.
New York’s original generation of graffiti artists meet their accidentally avant-garde civic counterparts – or competitors – in this double bill exploring legal and illegal use of the city as an urban canvas.
In response to the Barbican Art Gallery's major Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition, Architecture on Film brings you a double bill of films exploring the changing relationship between modernism and power, and the UK Premiere of Living In The City of Tommorrow (Leben in der Stadt von Morgen).
A double bill of films exploring life on the street. The incredible Streetwise – a 1984 documentary on street kids in America's 'most liveable city' – meets William Raban's contemporary invocation of Charles Dickens' nocturnal promenades of urban London.
A night at the museum, documenting two world-leading, yet very different, museums (the Pompidou and the Inujima 'art island') through the lenses of two of cinema and art's greatest filmmakers: Roberto Rossellini and Fiona Tan.
Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York) turns his lens on a different kind of urban violence from his usual - in this end-of-an-era portrait of the legendary Hotel Chelsea at the moment of its brutal shift from bohemian sanctuary to boutique hotel. Plus, footage of the Chelsea from artist, filmmaker, and former resident, Jonas Mekas.
In a live introduction and Q&A, film-makers Gabu Heindl and Drehli Robnik present their research project mapping the appearance of architectural models across narrative cinema; taking us on a historical journey through architecture's filmic caricature, charting the model as an unsung, supporting character.
An evening exploring the mythology of the legendary Drop City, through the UK premiere of a new feature length documentary on the 60s geodesic countercultural commune and its inhabitants' dreams of creating a new civilization on the scrapheap of a wasteful society, and a 1968 BBC documentary identifying Drop City as a utopia on earth.
A portrait of London through the eyes of artist, filmmaker and avant-garde hero John Smith, who will be with us on the evening to discuss his work and the capital, with celebrated film historian and curator, Ian Christie.
Experimental films from Italy’s 70s design avant-garde (Joe Colombo, Ettore Sottsass Jr., Gaetano Pesce, Superstudio and more) gain a rare showing on the big screen, accompanied by a special Q&A with designer and architect, Gaetano Pesce and design historian and curator, Peter Lang.
A selection of short films from the Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski, pioneer of experimental animated films and multimedia, accompanied by an introductory lecture by Theo Lorenz.
An evening exploring the refurbishment of the Bois le Prêtre tower in Paris, France, by Lacaton and Vassal with Frédéric Druot, through the UK premiere of a new feature length documentary about the building process using the voices of its inhabitants. The screening will be accompanied by a Q&A with the director.
An intriguing, behind-the-scenes report of a competition between star architects Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster who have been invited to put forward designs for the future National Museum of Art of Andorra.
A survey through film of global informal design strategies and the critical socio-economic circumstances that have led to self-initiated and semi-legal adaptations of abandoned buildings in South America. Plus a Q&A with interdisciplinary design studio Urban-Think Tank's Alfredo Brillembourg and Daniel Schwarz, chaired by writer and curator Justin McGuirk.
An experimental investigation of modernity via architectural form, Emigholz’ employs his signature ‘frame tale’ of moving photographs to produce an abstracted visual essay, forensically observing architectures of power and ideologies made concrete. We are delighted to present the film's UK premiere, accompanied by a Q&A with the director.
A pair of films exploring the meeting of dreams with globalised realities, unfolding within fantastical stage sets of architectural facsimiles. Set in a Beijing themepark composed of recreated global architectural icons, Jia Zhangke's The World offers a mesmerising allegory of desire, globalisation and urban life. Synder's artwork portrays a Romanian oligarch’s fantastical construction of the ranch from the American TV show Dallas.
A masterwork of avant-garde filmmaking, James Benning's Boogie Woogie surveys the industrial landscape of Milwaukee through 60 one minute vignettes. 27 years later Benning remade the film, charting the passage of time upon the urban environment and his protagonists.
The UK premiere of a documentary tracing the life and work of the iconic (yet virtually unknown) Brazilian architect Sergio Bernardes. An incredible story of architecture, family and history traces his path from a playboy mid-century design-star to a radical futurist innovator, whose controversial ideas would eventually leave him bankrupt and forgotten. Introduced by Lisbon-based architect Pedro Costa, the screening will be folowed by a Skype Q&A between Costa and the directors of Bernardes.
Two leading auteur filmmakers, Jean-Luc Godard and Guy Maddin, respond with idiosyncratic brilliance to commissions to create filmic portraits of towns they have called home. Maddin's celebrated and singular 'surrealist mocumentary' explores the director's Canadian hometown. Godard's letter of refusal offers a concise essay on cinema, place and urban experience.
London premiere of an award-winning early work from leading documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Our Daily Bread) exploring Chernobyl’s ‘zone of alienation’ through a portrait of the ghost town of Pripyat – abandoned since the 1986 nuclear disaster – and the people who live and work there.
A pair of films exploring the mechanised home, the internet of things and living in the Information Age. Featuring the work of design research collaborative Space Caviar, and a rare screening of a 1960s BBC drama, and followed by conversation with Joseph Grima, Simone Niquille and science-fiction legend Bruce Sterling.
An exploration of China through the lens of filmmaker, anthropologist, and researcher at Harvard's revered Sensory Ethnography Lab, J.P. Sniadecki, whose inventive and formally bold documentaries engage people, place and filmmaking itself as their subject.
There goes the neighborhood: the before and after of artist-led regeneration. Hartley’s hilarious satirical melodrama meets Friedrich’s devastating diary of development and despair, to chart a changing Williamsburg over 30 years. Followed by a Skype Q&A with Gut Rennovation director Su Friedrich.