Whilst I may be not spending that much time in my home town of Melbourne at the moment the release of the program of the Melbourne International Film Festival is always something that I look forward to. As has been my want in the three years or so of this blog I look to highlight some of the films that may be of interest to architects and designers. And with a scheduled visit to scheduled between the film festival dates of the 2nd of August to the 19th of August I should be able to fit in a film or two.
For all those who were saddened by the destruction of Christchurch following earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 then When A City Falls by director Gerard Smyth is a must see. The film documents the effects of the two earthquakes using accounts of those who lived through the catastrophic events, and shows first hand the destruction of a city and the inspirational efforts of those involved to recover and rebuild their homes.
Of course most architects know Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei for his involvement in the Beijing Olympic Stadium but outside of that he is also a celebrated and outspoken artist. Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry is a topical debut documentary of director Alison Klayman and is a character study of China’s most famous and outspoken visual artist.
Continuing on the Chinese theme are Meishi Street and Beijing Besieged by Waste with both documentaries taking a look at the affect of China’s rapid progression and urbanisation. Meishi Street tells the story of a community’s fight for just recompense and a record of the last days of an ancient neighbourhood sacrificed in the name of Beijing’s Olympic makeover. In Beijing Besieged by Waste photographer Wang Jiuliang takes a look at waste disposal in the capital of China and it doesn’t make for pretty viewing.
In ¡Vivan las antipodas! director Victor Kossakovsky explores what it would be like if you drilled a tunnel straight through the centre of the earth from one place to another. He does this by comparing and contrasting the physical and social aspects of exact geographic opposites from around the world: Argentina and China; Spain and New Zealand; Chile and Russia; Botswana and Hawaii.
Finally in 7 days in Havana seven directors in the form of Julio Medem , Gaspar Noé, Laurent Cantet, Pablo Trapero, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio and Benicio Del Toro each take on a single day within one week in Havana, to tell a story of the city.