Sven Blume never wanted to be an architect. He associated it with the long workdays his mother Karen endured at her father’s Carl Nyrén office. This resulted in Sven’s disinterest in architecture as a whole. Though grandfather Carl has passed away, his buildings live on. Sven goes on a journey, visiting the many buildings designed by his grandfather, in the hope of learning something about the man beyond what was captured on those misty home recordings. The result is a travelogue that serves as testament to Nyrén’s ideals as an architect. Witty and touching, Crooked Lines of Beauty reminds of us of the humanity required to realize architecture worth preserving.
Best in the World provides a revealing look beyond the photogenic image of Copenhagen. The Danish capital is often considered one of the most liveable, inclusive and creative cities in the world. But this was not always the case. Thirty years ago, Copenhagen was an industrial city on the brink of bankruptcy. Through political and architectural engineering the city has experienced a complete transformation, but at what cost? Today the city is an engine of inequality both within its own borders and in the surrounding countryside. Who ultimately gets to benefit from this desirable new city? The opening film of AFFR 2022.
The glorious failure that was Tativille, Jacques Tati’s ambitious film set consisting of fully realized modernist architecture, is the stuff of legends. In Jacques Tati: Tombe de la Lune, director Jean-Baptiste Péretié, whose previous films include profiles of Buster Keaton, Al Pacino and John Wayne, effectively goes beyond the rote story we’ve heard time and time again. With the help of an impressive amount of behind-the-scenes footage, we witness the full scope of Tati’s spectacular rise as entertainer and gentle commentator on modernity. Péretié leaves us with a renewed appreciation for the doomed Tativille and its genius, obsessive architect Tati.
The now-demolished council estate Robin Hood Gardens often occupies opposing positions within the architectural imagination. Was Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1972 brutalist contribution to the London cityscape a misunderstood masterpiece or a well-intentioned failure? Fifty years on, filmmakers Thomas Beyer and Adrian Dorschner capture the building in all its glory right before the wrecking ball brings an end to the Smithson’s magnum opus. While the controversial East London council estate is honoured at the Venice Biennale, the film revisits the building’s critics, champions and the inhabitants themselves, to determine the true legacy of this concrete utopia. Robin Hood Gardens is dead. Long live Robin Hood Gardens.