12 Interesting movies in terms of architecture

As a matter of fact, good movies are remarkable in all aspects. However, this selection of twelve are specially spectacular in terms of architecture. In my opinion, the way composition, light and scenarios are treated make them extremely interesting to watch.

1. “How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?” (2010)

Directors: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado
Starring: Norman Foster, Deyan Sudjic
Description: One of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster,explains how he thinks, works and designs. His philosophy and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design makes it easier to understand his masterpieces.

2. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Geoffrey Arend
Description: Two main characters: an architect and  a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists. There is no reference to what city it is supposed to be, but the movie was filmed in Los Angeles, CA. The scene compositions are just amazing and the original soundtrack selection one of my favourites.

3. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole and Heath Ledger
Description: This fantasy/mystery/adventure movie tells a story about a traveling theater company that gives its audience much more than they were expecting. The creativity of the scenarios has no limits. Light on every scene is chosen very smartly.

4. Batman (Trilogy) (2005-2012)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Ken Watanabe.
Description: Bruce Wayne loses his philanthropic parents to a senseless crime, and years later becomes the Batman to save the crime-ridden Gotham City on the verge of destruction by an ancient order. Although Gotham is a city made out of fiction, Chicago and New York buildings show up from time to time in a really interesting way.

5. My Architect: A Son’s Journey (2003)

Director: Nathaniel Kahn
Starring: Edmund Bacon, Edwina Pattison Daniels and Balkrishna Doshi
Description: Although it is filmed in a documentary way it still tells a story. The son of the architect Louis Kahn,  Nathaniel Kahn, searches to understand his father, who died bankrupt and alone at a train station in 1974.

6. The Matrix  Reloaded (2003)

Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss.
Description: The best science fiction movie so far. Set in the future, where machines have control over humans. Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its  inhabitants. Is a lesson in philosophy and architecture.

7. Memento (2000)

Director: Christopher Nolan.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano.
Description: A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, remembers only what happened up to the day his wife was killed. He uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks committed the crime. The scene composition is just brilliant.

8. Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young.
Description: Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down and terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker. Futuristic movie from the 80’s that may be more interesting to watch as the years go by and city planning continues changing.

9. Raging Bull (1980)

Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci.
Description: An emotionally self-destructive boxer’s journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it. Light and sound are combined as if it was a continuous painting. The “Sfumato” technique is one of the strongest aspects of this film.

10. Two for the Road (1967)

Director: Stanley Donen.
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney and Eleanor Bron.
Description: A  couple in the south of France non-sequentially spin down the highways of infidelity in their troubled ten-year marriage. One of the most interesting ways to tell a story, going back and forward time and succeeding in creating a series of compositions in time.

11.  Blow-Up (1966)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni.
Starring: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave and Sarah Miles.
Description: A mod London photographer seems to find something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park. Discovery of reality through a camera is how we get a subjective view of what is going on. The end is still a mystery to me.

12. Metropolis (1927)

Director: Fritz Lang.
Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel and Gustav Fröhlich.
Description: For those who study architecture this film may be a cliché to watch. However, it is difficult to watch (it is a silent film) but it is totally worth it till the end. In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Technical Source:

3 thoughts on “12 Interesting movies in terms of architecture

  1. Nice collection of movies! I watched some of them, will definitely need to look to the rest. I also like the last transformers movie that was shot in Chicago, wonderful background for crazy machine monsters fight!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s