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]
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.
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.