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Film Architecture: Set Designs from "Metropolis" to "Bladerunner" Paperback – 15 Aug 2000

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It may be the catalogue for an exhibit mounted first at Brown University, but in the way it explores the set designs of films produced in Weimar, Germany, and later, Film Architecture doesn't read like scaffolding to an event long past. Beginning with oddball stuff like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari whose tilting, dream-curved sets would appeal equally to Virginia Woolf (who praised its visual shorthand for the nervous metropolis) and the Viennese architect Adolf Loos (who saw the possibilities in its plastic city), the book devotes sections to big-look movies like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, King Vidor's The Fountainhead and Jacques Tati's Playtime. Each film, the authors argue, further explores the psychologically charged spaces that Dr. Caligari first created, and each eventually incorporates the look of actual cities within its urban visions. As much a collection of photographs of film sets as an examination of Expressionist influences on filmic cityscapes from the 1920s to the near-present, Film Architecture is full of information--for example, that the abiding strangeness of Tati's work in Mon Oncle "elicited furious responses from members of the architectural profession". (Does this happen outside France?) And that Playtime's singular vision of modernity also, in some respects, shapes a film about building developments in Paris, including the glassy Gare Montparnasse and the "infamous Sarcelles" in the 'burbs. With reproductions of sketches for sets and glossy images of darkling cities, the book shows over and over that our love of cities is inseparable from the way movies regularly shade them into our unconscious. --Lyall Bush

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Should Be Standard-Issue For Production Designers! 22 Dec. 2003
By Alfred Bulltop Stormalong - Published on
Format: Paperback
With a degree in architecture and a decade in the film industry I was delighted to wander across a book that brought both disciplines together in a language that students of both crafts might understand. The collection of essays provide access to the design decisions that faced the Production Designers of films from the dawn of "designed" cinema in the 1920's to the doorstep of filmmaking in the 1990's.
If you find this book "too wordy" then chances are that this isn't the book for you as it is studied, researched and filled with images that most film fans have never before seen. It is a glimpse into the thought processes and schedule demands that shape the final look of a film.
This book should be highly sought by fans of design and film alike.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thorough and informative. 23 July 2007
By M. Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
I checked this book out from our school's library and found it to be very exceptional. Anybody who is interested in set design, German Expressionism, film, or photography will enjoy this book.

Great images, text, and references.
I love it 9 Sept. 2014
By hiba.skh - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very clean like brand new ,, thnx
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