Architecture and Film Course Series

This course reviews the seductive correspondence between cinema and architecture. Of all the fine arts, cinema and architecture seem to uniquely correspond due to their natures as both an art and a science. In no small part, this is because both deploy many of the same concepts in a superficial and/or substantive way, i.e. representation, presentation, functionality and materiality. Over the last four decades, startling technological advances, mostly deriving from computer science, have further blurred the distinction between cinema and architecture. Collectively, this tends to obscure the most important aspect, which is architecture’s impact on the dual aims of cinema, e.g. narrative and technology. Part I, “Do Architects Dream of Celluloid Buildings” reviews the conceptual, historical and technological correspondence between cinema and architecture. Part II, “The Architectural Competence in Cinema” and Part III, “The Best of Both Worlds”, reviews cinematic use of architectural precedents and typologies in crafting distinctive film-grammars in support of narrative and characterization. The “Architecture and Film” course series more closely examines the frequent role of the built environment in creatively reinforcing or subverting expectations of the audience about cinematic narratives (6.0 course).