Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival 2018

I have had the honour of co-curating this year’s line up of films for New Zealand’s Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival. (Thank you Clare for having me!) To celebrate our programme launch this month, here is a look at a few of my personal favourites…


One of my absolute favourites. This film looks at the life and work of renowned Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha through a series of intimate, candid and revealing interviews with his daughter Joana. Now 88-years-old, Mendes da Rocha and his daughter are filmed in constant dialogue, bouncing ideas around on urbanism, nature, humanity and art, and at the same time knowingly exposing their privacy and family history. Beautifully shot, his raw concrete structures, with huge sections of glazing, light wells and open walls, are seductive and gravity-defying; he claims each stand to support life’s unpredictability…[Watch the trailer here]

Sublime visuals smother the senses in this documentary made by French director duo Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine. Moriyama-Sanis about Yasuo Moriyama, the ‘urban hermit’ who lives inside Moriyama House designed by Ryue Nishizawa.In spite of their language di erences, the occupant and the filmmakers bond over a shared love of ‘Japanese noise’ and end up spending an entire week together in the house. The film reveals the typical domestic activities of Moriyama, from reading, listening to records and watching silent movies, and how the house, which is made up of 10 separate blocks, accommodates such activities.

[Watch the trailer here]


Super Design tells the stories of 19 players in the Italian Radical Movement of Architecture and Design. Amid a wave of political violence, bombings and terrorism, Italy was at the same time a very creatively exciting place. Through the energy of its industrialists and the ability and creativity of its designers, Italy started becoming a global focus for design.

We see their works, walk with them through their city alleys, listen to their revolutionary ideals. We find that the dreams, the utopias, the ideologies and the passion which have permeated their experience and their art are still alive nowadays.

[Watch the trailer here]


Wild Plants tells the tale of a group of urban horticulturists living in a post-industrial city, Detroit. We meet Swiss artistic gardener Maurice Maggi, Native American activist Milo Yellow Hair and the innovative yet rebellious Genevan cooperative Jardins de Cocagne. From these protagonists a compassionate adventure starts o personal and ends global. Director Nicolas Humbert uses his camera so beautifully and he observes with complete respect and discretion.

Wild Plants offers us an alternative way of living in a community, one that is aware of the value of the Earth and the power of living side by side.

Image above: Key projects by Paulo Mendes da Rocha photographed by Leonardo Finotti: Casa Mendes da Rocha, São Paulo, 1967, featured in It’s All A Plan.


Image above: Film still from Moriyama-San.


Image above: SuperDesign: Italian Radical Design 1965-75 [Maria Cristina Didero, Evan Snyderman, Deyan Sudjic, Catharine Rossi]

Image above: Film still from Wild Plants. (Copyright: Close Up Films)

See full Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival 2018 programme details here

We’re also excited to announce that we’ll be screening in eight locations throughout New Zealand this year. Starting in Auckland May 3rd, we’re then off to Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Havelock North and Palmerston North.

Book tickets now [here]