Sunday, September 18, 2016

DESTINATIONS: NYC about to host an eclectic and exciting Architecture & Design Film Festival

 NYC's Architecture & Design Film Festival 
coming soon: Sept. 28 - Oct. 2

 Photo from Some Kind of Joy: 
The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings

A group of extraordinary design-related films
will be screened at Cinépolis Chelsea in NYC (260 West 23rd St.),
starting in about a week. This year's selections may be the strongest field 
yet offered during this highly-anticipated annual event.

The festival kicks off with 
Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future.

The film follows the modernist designer's son, Eric,
as he makes a "a cathartic journey through the sites of his father’s work." 
Included are National Historic Landmarks such as St. Louis’  Gateway Arch (seen above) and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan. Saarinen also designed New York’s TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport, Yale University's Ingalls Rink, Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Virginia’s 
Dulles Airport, and modernist furniture such as 
the enduringly popular Tulip Chair.

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Toshie lovers (like me), take heart! At last a film -- which will premiere in the US at this festival -- has been made about visionary Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's singular influence on design and architecture over the late 20th century and beyond. Mackintosh's work did not receive the acclaim and worldwide recognition it deserved in its time -- in an era of over-the-top Victorian decoration it was seen as too restrained, and sometimes even "spooky" -- but in recent decades it has come to the fore again. His Glasgow School of Art has regularly  been voted the greatest architectural masterpiece in the UK.
Above: Entrance to the iconic Glasgow School of Art, designed by 
CRM in 1902, completed in 1909. Drawing by Gerald Blaikie.

Facing up to Mackintosh (2014), will be screened at the NYC Design Film Festival on Thurs., Sept. 29 (7PM) and Sat. Oct. 1 (6PM, w Q & A to follow). The film depicts the conception and construction of the Glasgow School of Art's new design school, now known as the Reid Building, located across the street from the original and beloved Mackintosh Building ("The Mac"). The film explores how a space affects the people who work in it, and how an older building that no longer serves its purpose (the newer venue had been built in the 1960s) can be recreated and brought up to state-of-the-art standards.

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Intermission: Judy's mini-film festival ...
 I'm cutting now to some pics unrelated to the NY film festival, 
just because I love this place, and feel like showing it off.

 Below is the exterior of Mackintosh's dreamy House for an Art Lover.
          The design for the house was created in 1901 by Mackintosh and his artist wife Margaret MacDonald for a German art magazine competition, 
 and won first prize. It was actually built nearly 100 years later.

Plans for the house remained as a set of water colors in a desk drawer,
until a consortium of city and regional authorities, along with the
Glasgow Development Agency and private donors, brought it to reality.

Located in beautiful Bellahouston Park, the House for an Art Lover
has become a major draw for tourists, and also hosts conferences and weddings.

Below: The Music Room

This room was recreated using Mackintosh's watercolor drawings, by
top-notch Scottish artists and artisans. There were no measurements
or architectural drawings to use for reference. 
See A Vision Realized: Mackintosh's House for an Art Lover
for more information about this exquisite venue.

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Back to the NYC Festival ...

Some other titles that caught my eye were:

Design that Heals 
A MASS Design Group is challenged to design a cholera treatment center where the construction process, as well as the finished building, could address the underlying structural and social conditions that allow the disease to thrive in Haiti.

The Happy Film
Austrian Graphic Designer Stefan Sagmeister is doing well. He lives in New York, the city of his dreams, and is successful in his work, designing album covers for the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and Talking Heads. But deep down he suspects there must be something more to life. He decides to turn himself into a design project.  

Talking House: Eileen Gray & Jean Badovici 
A photo montage of Villa E-1027, the iconic modernist villa built by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici on the Cote d’Azur in 1929.(Note: I've written extensively about Eileen Gray and the E-1027 house; for more info and lots of pics, see my article "Eileen Gray: from Shadow to Light", (Modernism magazine, spring 2011)
Windshield: A Vanished Vision
This film "lands us in the 1930’s to reveal an intimate portrait of a patrician couple, a leading modern architect, and the story of the ill-fated house they create. John Nicholas Brown's fascination with modernism, innovation and the rapidly-evolving American building scene spurs him to commission what he hopes will be a distinguished monument in the history of architecture.”Just weeks after the Browns move in, though, tragedy strikes.

The Novgorod Spaceship 

 This place actually exists, in Novgorod, Russia! 
"Like an abandoned alien spaceship, the building of Dostoevsky's Drama Theater stands on the bank of the Volkhov River, only a kilometer away from the walls of famous Novgorod Kremlin. An architectural freak, unloved and uncared for, it was erected during the final years of Soviet rule -- a remarkable example of modernist architecture that has, for  decades, continued to mock the ancient heritage of the city, as well as the mediocre tastes of its populace... The building's slow but sure demise at the hands of greedy bureaucrats is a metaphor for Russian society today."

~ oOo ~

for more information about the festival, visit
the ADFF website, here 

1 comment:

  1. Please leave a comment if you attend this festival, and/or enjoy a particular film. Remember to use the "Anonymous" dragdown; it's the only one that doesn't make you register. You're welcome to write your name, if you like, in the text of the comment. Thanks!