Architecture and film can be looked at from different perspectives.
Architecture in Film
Architecture can be used cinematically in two different ways, according to Vincent Kling3:
- Expressionist films. When the technology was highly expensive and limited to black-and-white and no sound, symbolic movements of characters and canvas drawings of buildings and landscapes were used in order to bring the action, as in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (sample movie).
- Realistic films, both in contemporary architecture that we see in Antonioni's films, and in surrealistic (artificial) films like sci-fi or horror, as in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.
In either case of the above, the intent is to create an experience derived from film by using the filming techniques in an interplay between architecture and the characters.
Film in Architecture
Film is finding its own seats in the architectural room with the advent and affordability of technology. In the "Architect As A Film Maker,"2 Vincent Kling says that films do not have to be very technologically advanced and sophiticated in order to make a successful presentation. For architects, film is a very powerful medium because it allows them to walk through a virtual model or a small mock-up of the building while the client is watching, and enables them also to demonstrate the design ideas as if the building was explored by the eyes of the visitors. In addition, Film can be used academically to help explore (see) and document the effects of buildings on society, and the urban setting.
If we were to stand away and compare film and architecture, we would find that the design process is the same in each in a way that both require a team of designers collaborating together. It also can be seen in the way that both try to demonstrate certain values to society in order that they can be critiqued by the public. To demonstrate, if one first looks at the basic elements of screenwriting in film, the writer is required to have a clear premise before beginning to write the script, which must be described in one sentence.
What is the premise of King Lair? "Blind trust leads to destruction."
What is the premise of Macbeth? "Ambition leads to its own destruction."
The writer should ask himself what he is trying to say. Is it worth saying? Is it freshly said? Is it a significant statement that an audience will care about? Is it about life, death, love, suicide, or is it simply about a character worrying about getting a date?6
Similarly, architecture takes on a challenge, to create a thesis, in order to introduce a concept for analysis and critique.