Architecture belongs on the silver screen. While streaming services, tablets, smartphones and ultra-high-definition TVs have dampened the allure of the movie house, the recent growth of architecture film festivals is a welcome reversal of the trend – and a testament to the powerful relationship between cinema and design. In New York City, the upcoming Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF) is a case in point, complementing a curated selection of offerings with a thought-provoking series of Q&As and discussions.
Taking place from October 16 to 20, this year’s festival features over 20 screenings as well as a Short Films Walk preview on October 2. Ahead of the show, we look at three standout feature films to catch at ADFF New York and beyond.
What do architects Peter Zumthor, Peter Märkli and Álvaro Siza Vieira have in common with drummer Jojo Mayer and artists James Turrell and Cristina Iglesias? For Architecture of Infinity’s Swiss director Christoph Schaub, the creation of sacred spaces unites the artists and creators.
It’s more than churches. Exploring the spirituality of place, Schaub’s camera floats from the ocean to the sky in search of transcendence – with buildings in between it all. Don’t miss it.
In the early moments of director Fredrik Gertten’s Push, something is clearly amiss. Against a grey sky, the glass and steel towers of Toronto’s populous CityPlace neighbourhood take on a looming, seemingly lifeless presence. From our vantage point – low to the quiet street – it all feels oppressive, empty and unsettling.
It’s a feeling that stays with us throughout the 2019 documentary. Push follows Leilani Farha, United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing, as she attempts to unravel a complex global problem: Why is housing so expensive?
See our full review of Push here.
“What are all these men doing here? What do they think they are doing in architecture?” Denise Scott Brown, addressing the camera, recalls asking these questions when she started architecture school, unusually confident that she was entering a “women’s profession.” It’s an invigorating perspective, and one that carries through the entirety of Joseph Hillel’s City Dreamers, a Canadian documentary that chronicles the groundbreaking achievements of Scott Brown, Phyllis Lambert, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and Blanche Lemco van Ginkel. Rousing and long overdue.
See our full review of City Dreamers here.
ADFF New York takes place from October 16-20. Subscribe to AZURE* and receive 2 complimentary tickets** to a screening of your choice.
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October’s Architecture and Design Film Festival features over 20 screenings, along with a program of discussions and Q&As.