MIFF 2011: Films of interest

With the Melbourne International Film Festival about to kick off tomorrow, it’s again time to take a look at the films that may be of interest to the architectural/design types out there.

Unlike previous years there is no documentary on a specific architect with there being more a concentration on the urban environment with Detroit Wild City, Foreign Parts and I Wish I Knew taking a look at Detroit, New York and Shanghai respectively.

“Detroit Wild City” by French filmmaker Florent Tillon takes a look beyond the haunted landscape of  Detroit to discover new urban explorers who are discovering opportunities in this decaying city’s reversion to a natural state. Paired with “Detroit Wild City” is The Future Will Not Be Capitalist which is short twenty minute film taking a look at Oscar Niemeyer’s Communist Party headquarters in Paris.

In a similar vein, “Foreign Parts”, is a peak into the lives of people who are living in and living off the wreckage of America’s cars in Willets Point in New York and how a $3billion urban redevelopment may affect their unique way of life. In contrast “I Wish I Knew” is a collage of the memories of eighteen people to construct a history of Shanghai.

Continuing on the industrial theme of “Foreign Parts” and “Detroit Wild City” is Ruhr, a film by experimental filmmaker, James Benning, which a two hour, meticulously composed meditation on the industrial landscapes of the Ruhr Valley, the former industrial heartland of Germany.

Closer to home andvery close to the heart of many Melbourne architects is The Triangle Wars, a look at the controversy surrounding the proposed redevelopment of the St Kilda Triangle. This should make for interesting viewing considering the kerfuffle that surrounding the redevelopment of what is essentially a car park.

Outside of the documentaries it also may worthwhile having a look at Day is Done, a fifteen year study of Zurich as seen through the eyes of filmmaker, Thomas Imbach.

Images taken from miff.com

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