A lot of science-fiction movies use extravagant computer graphics to create fantastical environments. But the rapid advancement of that tech can date a movie fast–try watching the Star Wars prequels now without cringing. Sometimes, using architecture that already exists can serve a scene better than a fabricated one. Oobject has put together a list of them, here are some of our favorites.
The diva scene from The 5th Element, made to look like a theater in a massive space cruiser was filmed at The Royal Opera House in London.
Rick Deckard’s home in Blade Runner was filmed at the Ennis House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. You can see Wright’s telltale Mayan-inspired bricks.
The asylum scenes in 12 Monkeys were filmed at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, an austere prison that once held Al Capone.
Browse through other buildlings featured in Terminator, Sleeper, A Clockwork Orange, and more here.
I met Armen Perian on the night of the Portugal. The Man x Los Angeles, I’m Yours show. He was front row, asking me if it was cool to take photos. He was cognizant of the crowd, the band and wanted to be a fly on the wall to simply document this incredible performance. Halfway into the set, I could see he was positioning himself for some great shots. Over the blaring music, I handed him my phone and told him to type in his email so that we could reconnect after the show.
Later, I find out that Armen is a film major at Art Center with a great love for photography–you can see that clearly from these shots and a bunch more on his Flickr–moody, beautiful, cinematic.
At only 19 years old, Armen started taking photos his junior year in high school and was positive that was his career path. Up until attending his first year at Art Center he switched his focus to film, wanting to explore the narrative and collaborative aspect of filmmaking. Looking at his still photography, narrative still comes through, I look forward to seeing what he does with moving images. Here is a video he put together quickly of the Portugal. The Man performance for “Los Angeles, I’m Yours”.
For a while now, I had kept Tom Ford’s first film, A Single Man on the back burner, and finally got to see it last night post-Golden Globes. I had my reservations about the film–would this be a 90 minute Gucci commercial? Too many good suits and too little depth? To my surprise, even though it did end up like an extended Gucci commercial of sorts, it almost had to be that way. In fact, it was my favorite part of the movie and anyone could feel Ford’s heavy role in the creative aspect of the film. Colin Firth’s character was so wonderfully tragic, but the cinematography, costume design, and set design were pristine, clean, and beautiful.
This scene reminded me of a commercial the most. The dramatic violin, the unusually long fixation on ‘Carlos’ lips. The back and forth of glances from one hot man to the other. It wasn’t too bad to watch
And this was my favorite scene just for the way it successfully, and quite emotionally captured Firth’s memory of his lover on the beach.
It’s so good to see Tom Ford see the potential in Colin Firth as an actor–outside the real of romantic comedies. You almost feel like Firth was born for this role. I hope after this film, people put him in more challenging roles. He’s got the intensity for it, and his accent and good looks don’t hurt either.
While clearing out my 2009 drawers to make room for the junk-to-be in 2010, I was delighted to see that I had managed to save some of my “Intro to Film” books from college. I’m sure many of our film fanatics out there are well aware of French filmmaker, Jacques Tati and his most celebrated film, Mon Oncle. But it was just now, 3 years after taking the course that my appreciation and fascination for this film, so inherently Chaplinesque and ahead of its time, have come to fruition.
A funny film which artfully combines themes of modernity in postwar France and the culture’s obsession with all things mechanical and uncomfortable Mon Oncle is also stylistically crafted–opposing the the charm of old Parisian neighborhoods to the sterility of new buildings that replace them.
The best part of the film is of course the uncle himself, played by Tati. “Mr. Hulot” is the beacon of light for his niece, Gerard, and gives little G a whole new way of looking at life, behind the everyday occurrences of high tech kitchen gadgets, uncomfortable geometric architecture, and a mother and father who both have lost their own sense of identity for the sake of modernity.
Finally, a scene that really captures the essence of the whole film:
I would love to blow up these screen shots and hang them on my wall one day. Le sigh.