Architecture x Cinema

The right framing. The perfect perspective. The most adequate plan. But also the ideal spot, the building that provides dimension to a certain framing, the life – or desolation – that a space can offer in a single filming shot. Cinema and Architecture walk hand in hand so frequently that we do not always realize how both can be in the same sphere of interests. We look, we see films of innumerous directors about the most different themes and we understand how architecture and the occupation of space are pivotal to them. They are there, be it real places and buildings, or made up, using scenarios of something that was never around, unless in the creative minds of those who thought of them. Here, we present only a few elements used by two directors that need no preview: Wes Anderson and Alfred Hitchcock.



They are holes in a façade. We not always pay them their rightful attention, but Wes Anderson does it with a somewhat unmistakable mastery. He started using windows in the beginning of his cinematic career and he still does it: from Rushmore to The Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou, Grand Budapest Hotel or The Royal Tenenbaums. In them, windows have different roles: they are places for observation, escape routes for the characters or even used to draw the curtain.



Through them, we go upstairs and downstairs. We stop in the middle and see what is around us. The stairs are, ultimately, a means to an end: let it be to reach the top, or go back to the beginning. With Hitchcock the stairs are much more than this, they are psychological tension arenas, spaces in which architecture is portrayed as something vertiginous (for example, Vertigo’s famous scene). They are, besides this, used as a suspense technique because every step the characters takes advances and, at the same time, delays the finale.

Featured in ROOF 15



Text: Inês Mendes

Photography: Philippe Simões

The Wes Anderson Collection, by Matt Zoller Seitz
The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Matt Zoller Seitz
The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alferd Hitchcock, by Steven Jacobs
Lacrimae Rerum, by Slavoj Žižek


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