At first blush, Yasujiro Ozu and Wes Anderson would seem to be miles apart. Ozu is the “most Japanese” of all directors. His films are small, quiet, finely calibrated works that document the slow reordering of the family unit in the face of Japan’s rapid modernization. Anderson’s movies are twee and whimsical, filled with wry humor and a shocking amount of violence against dogs.
Yet video essayist Anna Catley in her piece Wes Anderson & Yasujiro Ozu: A Visual Essay makes a pretty compelling case that these two auteurs are more similar than you might think. Both filmmakers have a clear and highly stylized manner of constructing their movies: Ozu’s films are characterized by symmetrical compositions and an unmoving camera that remains about two and a half feet off of the ground. Anderson’s movies are marked by symmetrical compositions, long complex camera moves and lots of overhead shots. Both Ozu and Anderson have a stable of actors that they work with repeatedly — Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara for Ozu, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray for Anderson. Both filmmakers’ movies are about the complex, often fraught, relationships between parents and children. And both directors often employed the point of view of children to highlight adult hypocrisy and disappointment.
Architecture | Essay | Film
Tuesday 19 April 2016
Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London, 2nd Floor, South Junction, Wilkins Building, Gower Street WC1E 6BT
Architecture | Essay | Film is a one-day symposium bringing together filmmakers, architects and theorists to discuss the role of the ‘essay film’ in architecture. Originally coined by the German artist and filmmaker Hans Richter, the term essay film describes an intimate, allusive and idiosyncratic genre at the margins between fiction and documentary. Although under-theorised the essay film has a long history as a ‘form that thinks and thought that forms’ according to French film essayist Jean-Luc Godard. Architecture | Essay | Film will focus on essay films that take as their subject matter architecture or the city, what we call ‘architectural essay films’. We have asked our speakers to reflect on: What are the characteristics of the architectural essay film? Do architectural essay films unlock the storytelling, political and philosophical subconscious of architecture? Can architectural essay films be seen as a design research method, bridging theory and practice, as well as filmmaking and architectural proposition?
Conceived and developed by Dr Penelope Haralambidou, the symposium is organized by Anna Andersen, Dr Penelope Haralambidou and Phuong-Trâm Nguyen at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
Dr Erika Balsom Lecturer in Film Studies and in Liberal Arts at King’s College London, specialising in the study of the moving image in art, author of Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013) andDocumentary Across Disciplines (2016)
Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, Living Architectures Artists, filmmakers, producers and publishers, who experiment with new narrative and cinematographic forms in relation to contemporary architecture. Known for Koolhaas Houselife (2013), Barbicania (2014), La Maddalena (2015), and Spiriti (2015)
Richard Martin Writer and researcher working on contemporary film, art and architecture. He is the author of The Architecture of David Lynch (2014), and currently teaches at King’s College London and Tate Modern
James O’Leary and Dr Kristen Kreider, Kreider + O’Leary A poet and an architect, who collaborate to make performance, installation and time-based media work in relation to sites of architectural and cultural interest. Known for Gorchakov’s Wish (2011) and Edge City (2013)
Professor Laura Rascaroli Professor and Co-Head of the Discipline of Film and Screen Media at University College Cork, author of The Personal Camera: Subjective Cinema and The Essay Film(2009)
Kibwe Tavares, Factory Fifteen Architect trained filmmaker and actor, member of Factory Fifteen, known for Jonah (2013) and Robots of Brixton (2011)
Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Fugitive Images Filmmaker, artist and cultural activist co-founder of the artists’ collective Fugitive Images, known for Estate, a Reverie (2015)
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