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The Architecture of the Screen

Essays in Cinematographic Space

With the birth of film came the birth of a revolutionary visual language. This new, unique vocabulary—the cut, the fade, the dissolve, the pan, and a new idea of movement gave not only artists but also architects a completely new way to think about and describe the visual. The Architecture of the Screen examines the interrelations between the visual language of film and the onscreen perception of space and architectural design, revealing how film’s visual vocabulary influenced architecture in the twentieth century and continues to influence it today. Graham Cairns draws on film reviews, architectural plans, and theoretical texts to illustrate the unusual and fascinating relationship between the worlds of filmmaking and architecture.

360 pages | 200 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2013


Film Studies

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"Graham Cairns’s book is an innovative and welcome addition to the dialogue between cinema and architecture. Recently established as a field of research, this interdisciplinary terrain is relevant to other disciplines beyond architecture and film. Its influence is already evident in established fields such as history, geography, and cultural and language studies, but it is also gaining ground in other areas. This book is an opportunity to explore the alternative and complementary intelligence this field opens up, and which can be injected at various stages of creative design processes."

François Penz, author of the foreword

Table of Contents

Foreword by François Penz


Part 1: Film reviews

The cinema of the French New Wave and the illusionism of SITE architects

Les Carabiniers. 1963

The architecture of Diller and Scofidio: The screen and surveillance

Das Experiment. 2001

The “cut” in the architecture of Jean Nouveland and the scenery of Ken Adam

You Only Live Twice. 1967

The visual narratives of Resnais in the architecture of Carlo Scarpa

Hiroshima Mon Amour. 1959

German Baroque architecture and the filming of Resnais: A fusion

Last Year in Marienbad. 1961

Siegfreid Giedion, Rem Koolhaas, and the fragmentary architecture of the city

Run Lola Run. 1998

The aesthetics and formalism of Godfrey Reggio in the projects of Jen Nouvel

Koyaanisqatsi. 1982

Boullée on film: An architectural cinematography

The Belly of an Architect. 1987

Playtime: A commentary on the art of Situationists, the philosophy of Henri Lefebvre and the architecture of the Modern Movement

Playtime. 1967

Venturi and Antonioni: The modern city and the phenomenon of the moving image

Zabriskie Point. 1970

Part 2: Applying film to architecture

Video Installation: Hybrid Artworks

The physical experience of space and the sensorial perception of image

                Performance 1: Shadows

                Performance 2: Memories

                Performance 3: Echoes

                Performance 4: A technical description

The physical experience of image and the sensorial perception of space

                The world imagined by Diller and Scofidio

                Performance: Jet Lag

                Installation: Loophole

                Architecture: The Slow House

Cinematographic architecture: Exercises in theory and practice

Cinematographic space: A study of Citizen Kane

                Scene 1. Citizen Kane

                Scene 2. Citizen Kane

                Scene 3. Citizen Kane

                Scene 4. Citizen Kane

From the contradictions of film to the creativity of architecture: Design workshop

                Stage 1. Cinematographic analysis of film

                Stage 2. Filming space

                Stage 3. Storyboarding spaces

                Stage 4. Storyboarding architectural events

                Stage 5. Design proposals

Part 3. Conceptual essays

The hybridisation of sight in the hybrid architecture of sport: The effects of television on stadia and spectatorship

Cinematic movement in the work of Le Corbusier and Sergei Eisenstein

The historical construction of cinematic space: An architectural perspective on the films of Jean Renoir and Yasujiro Uzo

Cinematic phenomenology in architecture: The Cartier

Foundation, Paris, Jean Nouvel

Cinematic space and time: The morphing of a theory in film and architecture




Index of images

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