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Architecture on Film Features at Adelaide Film Fest

The 2005 Adelaide Film Festival has announced the inclusion of a major new programming strand to examine architecture and the built environment.

Entitled Architecture and Film, the strand will run from 24 February to 3 March and has been made possible through funding from the Department of Environment and Heritage. The program includes features, documentaries and short films from around the world and a FREE public forum conducted by Stephen Loo, Director of the Architecture Program of the University of South Australia who has also been a key program advisor for this strand.

AFF Director Katrina Sedgwick said, ‘As we embrace globalisation we face new challenges to retain our own sense of identity and community. As the generic shopping mall becomes the social and mercantile focus of suburban life how to we rehabilitate these banal landscapes? How do we protect our heritage, yet maintain its relevance to the 21st Century and our community’s needs? Through features, documentaries and short films from around the globe, this program aims to draw the unfamiliar from the familiar, asking pressing questions about the future sustainability of our planet.’

Stephen Loo said, ‘The ways we belong to place, community, and state, are enmeshed in digital media and electronic technologies. Contemporary film and cinema do not merely depict real or imagined spaces, they are immanent in the spaces we belong to. What were considered virtual environments in film – the banal landscapes of cinéma vérité or the architecture of the computer game – now participates fully in the continual transformations of culture, society and self.’

The FREE Forum entitled Cinematic Space: Sustainability, Transformation & Identity
will be held on Sunday 27 Feb 2pm – 5pm in the Grainger Studio, 91 Hindley Street, Adelaide.
Global modernity, accelerated urbanism, and information-mediated human existence raise questions concerning our relationship to our histories and our environments – and to ourselves. This forum on architecture and film will discuss inventive spatial, ecological, and organizational moves that reconcile culture and technology, tradition and progress, and sustainability and development. Panellists include Ross Gibson, Professor of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Technology Sydney; architect and theorist on Japanese space and cinema, Kathi Holt-Damant from the University of Queensland; Swedish director Jesper Wachtmeister, media commentator Jackie Cook, architect and games enthusiast Sean Pickersgill, both from the University of South Australia. The Panel will be chaired by Stephen Loo (University of South Australia).

The Architecture & Film screening program includes:

Thu 24 Feb 5.30pm @ Mercury Cinema
Tue 1 Mar 12pm @ Mercury Cinema
Jem Cohen USA/Germany 2004 99 mins

Experimental filmmaker Jem Cohen blurs the lines between fact and fiction in this pointed observation of the homogenising effect global corporate strategies have on local lives, cultures and especially the built environment all over the world..

“Both hypnotic and politically alert, Chain finds something melancholically poetic in the least inviting of milieux.” Jonathan Romney, The Independent

The World
Sat 26 Feb 4pm @Greater Union City Cinema 1
Jia Zhangke China 2004 133 mins

The dazzling new film from acclaimed director Jia Zhangke focuses on a young dancer, her security-guard boyfriend and others who work at World Park, a bizarre theme park where visitors can interact with famous international monuments without ever leaving the Beijing suburbs.

“From the sensational opening tracking shot to the flurry of animated punctuation, Jia’s first government-sanctioned film is his most flamboyant yet.” Dennis Lim, Variety

Kochuu: Japanese Architecture, Influence and Origin
Fri 25 Feb 6pm @ Mercury Cinema
Jesper Wachtmeister Sweden 2003 52 mins

A film about modern Japanese architecture, its roots in the Japanese tradition and its impact on the Nordic building-tradition. Winding its way through visions of the future, traditions, nature, concrete, gardens and high-tech, Kochuu tells us how contemporary Japanese architects strive to unite the ways of modern man with the old philosophies in astounding constructions.

Fri 25 Feb 6pm @ Mercury Cinema
Bregtje van der Haak Netherlands 2002 55 mins

With a population of 14 million now, Lagos is one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent and a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the world. For the past four years, architect Rem Koolhaas and a team of students have come to Lagos regularly to research the type of urbanity that is produced by uncontrolled, explosive population growth. Fascinated by the energy of Lagos, Koolhaas set out to learn from Lagos, rather than planning, building or changing anything.

Los Angeles Plays Itself
Thu 3 Mar 2pm @ Greater Union City Cinema 1
Thom Andersen USA 2003 169 mins

An essay on how the movies have depicted Los Angeles a "city symphony in reverse"--a symphony with many directions and speeds. A critical history - and counter-history - of Los Angeles is constructed via clips from an eclectic list of movies. space.

“[Los Angeles] may never have been captured with such complex layers of meaning and fascination as in Thom Andersen's remarkable Los Angeles Plays Itself.”
Robert Koehler, Variety

Metropolis with THE WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEW live score from The New Pollutants
Fritz Lang Germany 1927 119’
Sunday February 20 8.30pm Greater Union Cinema 5

The film that is synonymous with late German Expressionism, Metropolis transcends generic labels through the soaring power of both its majestic, chilling visuals and its timeless themes. Fritz Lang (M, The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, The Big Heat) was a perfectionist filmmaker who insisting on realising his design for Metropolis on the grandest scale possible. In doing so he conjured a disturbing vision of the future that has continued to wield a darkly hypnotic power since the day it was released.
Science-fiction cityscapes would never be the same (without Metropolis there would surely be no Bladerunner), and the themes of dehumanization and out-of-control technology would inspire and haunt future geniuses like Stanley Kubrick. Despite almost bankrupting his studio in the process, Lang made of his film a monolithic urban nightmare. Metropolis will be experienced anew for the Adelaide Film Festival with a specially commissioned electronic score performed live by local electro-ambient artists The New Pollutants.

The Cremaster Cycle
Matthew Barney/ USA/ 1994 - 2002
Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle is a massively ambitious project - a series of five visually extravagant works created out of sequence (CREMASTER 4 began the cycle, followed by CREMASTER 1, etc.). In his choice of the video medium Matthew Barney realises the unlimited potential for cinema to impact contemporary visual art.
“Matthew Barney is a one-man Baroque revival. The art of the Baroque is an art of excess, of encrusted, overloaded palace ceilings. Barney takes this overripe palatial aesthetic and makes it into an art for the 21st century. Packed with prosthetically made-up mutants, gorgeous costumes, ornate interiors, satyrs and motorbikes, his video installations, photography and filmed performances generate multiple, mutually contradictory images that set out to overwhelm the viewer.” Eyestorm

Cremaster 1 [1995] & Cremaster 2 [1999]
Saturday February 19 5pm GU2

Cremaster 4 [1994] & 5 [1997]
Tuesday February 22 5pm GU2

Cremaster 3 [2002]
Wednesday March 2 5pm GU2

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