NEW COURSE summer 2012 Arch 179 002: Gerostathopoulos

Tuesday-Thursday 6-9 pm

Cinematic spaces of modernism postmodernism and beyond.

A selection of European and American films  will be the focus of the seminar discussions helping to 
understand twentieth century historical developments in the concepts of  S P A C E   A N D   T I M E, 
the P O L I T I C A L  and E C O N O M I C  factors that shape our cities and the design of single 
structures. Filmic constructions amplify, contradict, re/de construct space/time in 
architecture and urbanism. In our  analysis buildings will assume the role of cinematic protagonists: the 
modern metropolis is continuing to inspire entire filmographies, and the suburban home is often a character 
equally important as the people living there. At the same time, the mass spectacle of film had 
the unique ability to shape collective identity in key periods of the twentieth century, in a way 
similar to new urban constellations, the factory and new spaces of leisure.

Dziga Vertov’s Man with the Movie Camera (1929) will set the stage for the weekly film screenings/seminars.
In the first three weeks we will look at key debates of modernism as they appear in early twentieth century
European and American film (Vertov, Chaplin, Murnau, Welles). In the next five weeks we will look at
postmodern debates with reference to films such as Terri Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run
(1998), Peter Greenaway's The Cook the Thief his Wife and her Lover (1989), and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s
Three Colors: Blue (1993). Short film interludes will include Chris Marker’s La jetée (1962), Andy Warhol’s
Blowjob (1964) and Michal Snow’s Wavelength (1967).

The beyond aspect of the course will examine what constitutes a historical shift against postmodernism:
creative synthesis or fragmented bodies and architectural elements?  Weekly readings complement the 
understanding of the films and situate them within the architectural debate.  The completion of a film-essay 
(we will see examples in the work of Jean-Luc Godard) can substitute the weekly reading responses as the 
final project for the class.

The course is open to architecture students and students from other departments.