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Walls Have Feelings: Architecture, Film and the City [Paperback]

Katherine Shonfield
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 41.99
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Book Description

23 Nov 2000 0415235421 978-0415235426
For the first time, this book brings the insights, methodologies and visions of film to the practice of architecture.
Walls Have Feelings poses unanswered questions from our immediate past, crucial for the future of the city: what was the cultural mindset leading to the triumph of Brutalism? What is the urban and domestic impact of large scale office building? Are there alternatives to the planners' city of object? and, Why does your flat leak?
This book uniquely brings to bear questions of urgent cultural relevance on critical design decisions. As such, it is of as much importance to architects, planners and students of design, as to students of cultural history, geography and all enthusiasts of cities and of film.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (23 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415235421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415235426
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 706,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Shonfield is an exemplary close-reader, functioning very well as literary, film and architecture critic ... The book comes highly recommended.' - Building Design

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is hardly possible to overdramatise the effects that the wholesale adoption of the Brutalist style - with its trademark bleak, uncovered, grey concrete - has had on the landscape of London. Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The secret life of the city in film 12 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Architectural and artistic practitioner Shonfield ploughs a fertile furrow in this far-reaching discussion of the construction of twentieth century urban space, and its representation in film. Drawing heavily on European cultural theorists of the 'everyday', Walter Benjamin and Henri Lefebvre, she explores a similar space to the filmmaker Patrick Keiller (London, Robinson in Space), using narrative film and fiction as a means of breaking down the implicit specialisms of architecture and urban planning and asking what the alternatives are to flats that leak and urban planning that separates the city-dweller from the city.
She begins with an analysis of post-war brutalist architecture, which elevated structural transparency to the moral authority of 'honestly' representing society, and as a consequence produced bland, dehumanised interiors and the tragically flimsy Ronan Point tower block. Roman Polanski's two films of interior horror, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby are then used to discuss what happens when the apparently inviolable walls of modern apartment blocks are ruptured and disintegrate, allowing the outside to invade the inside world.
Moving from the home to the street, Julie Christie in Darling and Michael Caine in Alfie are presented as mirror images: the male/female flaneur, operating in the public space of the streets between the commodified interior of the home and the refeminised interior of the executive boardroom. In Jean-Luc Godard's One or Two Things that I Know About Her, the prostitute-housewife Jeanette is a victim of the same violence done to Paris by the construction of the Périphérique, the ringroad arbitrarily dividing the city; she is 'at one and the same time the whole of France...
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