Tropolism Film Series: Summer 2007


[Editors note: For our inaugural Film Series, Summer 2007, we invited architect/cinephile Saharat Surattanont. Our only terms: the films must be interesting to architects, but have a common theme that is atypical of architectural film series. Enjoy.]

We often overlook the mundane in film.

Architecture film series tend to follow two basic trends: A monumental urban vision that reinforces “larger than life” characters or an “over stimulated” reality that symbolizes a confused and schizophrenic existence.

This film series examines non-contiguous spaces--inhabited by “dysfunctional” characters. Our protagonists never rise above their surroundings nor are they fully dwarfed by them. A more integrated and symbiotic relation develops between them and their world.

No grand conclusions can be drawn from these films. Mostly, time just passes. In the end, we’ve seen a fractured reality--reframed by those that are often ignored, dismissed or marginalized. All we can finally say is that we’ve shared their world and are reminded to acknowledge the spaces (and people) that are too often overlooked.

Click Continue Reading for the complete film list...

Nuit et Jour (1991)- Chantal Akerman

• Julie has an affair by day and wanders through Paris at night.

Night on Earth (1992) – dir Jim Jarmusch

• Five moments in times, at night, in taxicabs in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki.

The End of Violence (1997) – dir Wim Wenders

• An L.A. story with meditations on violence, mass media, art, surveillance, and paranoia.


Avalon (2001) – dir Mamoru Oshii

• Ash, a virtual reality gamer, guides us through a monochromatic Warsaw that culminates in a vivid contemporary Poland.


Lilija 4-Ever (2002) – dir Lukas Moodysson

• Brutalist public housing in an impoverished Russian town defines Lilija’s world as she searches for an escape from her life of drugs, abuse and indifference.

Dirty Pretty Things (2003) – dir Stephen Frears

• The underbelly of London as seen through the eyes of the underpaid, overworked, and unnoticed inhabitants of the city.

Children of Men (2006) – dir Alfonso Cuaron

• A war torn London comprised of military zones, refugee camps and competing tribal factions.


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