A ‘To Watch’ list for the pandemic

Have you already run out of things to watch?

Whilst we all have been binge-watching every series on Netflix,  our team here at INVOLVED magazine has put together a list of recommendations to ease the pain of isolation.

As time is all you have,  and time is all you need, indulge yourself in the artistry of film-making, inspiring educational lectures, documentaries, and classic cinematography marvels.

Stay on top of your creative game. Stay inspired. 

Educational

SCI-Arc Media Archive and AA’s Lecture Archive:

Snapshot from Peter Cook's lecture 'How to be a young architect'
Snapshot from Peter Cook’s lecture ‘How to be a young architect’

Two of the most influential schools of architecture offer a multitude of opportunities to enhance your knowledge on a range of  spatial, technological and theoretical subjects. 

The archives include lectures by influential architecture figures, such as Bernard Tschumi, Peter Cook, Peter Zumthor, Daniel Libeskind  and conversations between Rem Koolhas and Peter Eisenmann

Documentaries

Design

Charles and Ray Eames movies 

Snapshot from 'Powers of ten'
Snapshot from ‘Powers of ten’

A playlist with quintessential Eames movies that will contribute to your explorations of modernism, industrial design, architecture and the interrelation of these within visual media.  

The first short-film of the playlist is ‘Powers of Ten’, which is a depiction of shifts in scale;from the micro to the macro; and the individual to its surroundings .

Doug Michels’ ‘The Future Idea’ 

Snapshot from 'The future idea'
Snapshot from ‘The future idea’

Presents a 1984 film produced by Doug Michels and includes speculative projects of the influential 1970’s American avant-garde collective AntFarm. The film includes the subversive performance of ‘Media Burn’, which critiqued the technofetishist ideals of American culture, and several drawings/models from which you can draw inspiration from. 

Bauhaus School 

Snapshot from BBC’s Documentary ‘Bauhaus 100 -100 Years of Bauhaus’

In 201, Bauhaus reached its 100 year milestone of existence. It is the most influential school of design of the 20th Century, inspiring all forms of art. It well established modernism as a school of thought, and it provoked societal and cultural conceptions of art, architecture and lifestyle; and still does. 

The documentary by the BBC provides an insight to the notorious school of design, the approach to female gender, the school’s life during the Third Reich and its legacy. 

Architecture Player short films

Snapshot from Architecture Player's homepage
Snapshot from Architecture Player’s homepage

The team at Architecture Player promotes new generation creatives and architects by showcasing their films. They see the potential in the art of film and video and strongly believe that they can elevate design, in their story-telling through different visual  perspectives. 

Social

Did we leave the lights on by Daniel Oduntan

Snapshot from 'Did we leave the lights on'
Snapshot from ‘Did we leave the lights on’

The short film questions the centrality of social housing, in London, to the creativity of artists within the megacity. It ponders upon the crucial need for areas such as Southwark, to promote community spirit and facilitate different low-income artists and their ambitions. The film revolves around the inaccurate portrayal of black communities in post-gentrification areas.

Everybody in the place: An incomplete history of Britain 1984-1992 by Jeremy Deller

Snapshot from 'Everybody In The Place : An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992'
Snapshot from ‘Everybody In The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992’

The documentary presents the unknown history of acid house and rave culture in the UK. 

It reflects on the crucial socio-political and economic aspects of every-day life that shaped a sub-culture of liberation that was given birth by protest movements and austerity. 

Set Production

Parasite – Bong Joon Ho 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xH0HfJHsaY]

The film is situated in Korea and evolves around 2 distinct families, highlighting the immense contrast between their social and economic class. The director utilises the built environment to show the invasion of a privileged family’s life by a much less privileged one. The production designer , Lee Ha Jun, constructed a contemporary domestic environment, for which the camera angles and composition were crucial to the layout of.  

2001: Space odyssey by Stanley Kubrick

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR_e9y-bka0]

Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi journey through space. It adores presumptions of future aesthetics, and that is most certainly translated in the set design; with the iconic rotating wheel. 

The director and his team depicted the relationship between machines, space and humans, by formulating environments that reflected upon modernity. They accurately staged life in 2001, by incorporating machines reminiscent of laptops and cell phones. 

Playtime by Jacques Tati

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrYB8hgyq4s?t=8s]

The film is a french-italian comedy marvel, that critiques the modernist conditions of life. It depicts a techno-futuristic Paris, that is heavily influenced by neo-liberal modes of everyday life. The architecture is utilised to emphasize repetitive and capitalist patterns of an every-day worker’s life.

Cinematography

Gattaca by Andrew Niccol

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpzVFdDeWyo]

The sci-fi film imagines a future cosmos, in which DNA is manufactured to perfection. It follows a ‘degenerate’ character, whose ambitions drive him to extreme measures. 

His dream of flying to space leads him to conceive another man’s identity; however his plan is disrupted when suspicion of his real identity rises in the face of his director’s murder. 

The cold hues of colour used in the film to stage a dry not-so-distant future, captivate the viewer. The use of architecture as a tool to establish spatial monumentality in a retro-futuristic fictional world is potent within this film.  

Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtkFei4wRjE]

The story unravels in the period of Black Death in the Middle Ages. It questions the meaning of life, death and collective suffering. It’s  monochromatic scenes capture beautiful landscapes contrasting the macabre embodiment of death. 

Alphaville by Jean-Luc Goddard

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzaATgGHmy0]

The French new wave film presents a dystopian city in which a secret mission is intact to destroy a mind-controlling machine that exerts power over its politicians. The setting critiques life post-modernity, with the director using existing locations that evolve around corporate architecture and the numb lives of a city’s subjects.   

Andrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1d5FSyMEd8]

The film presents moments in the life of a painter, Andrei Rublev, in 15th-Century Russia. Andrei Tarkovsky has been one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th-Century, presenting the world with visual poetry rooted in Russian artistry. 

The black and white scenes of orthodox churches in Russia, along with the idyllic landscapes formulate innovative sequences that elaborate the lead character’s feelings and creative anguish.