Subject: ADFF Newsletter August 14 2014

This October the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) kicks off its sixth season of films, panel discussions, Q&A's and parties at Tribeca Cinemas and promises to be our best yet. We’ve been previewing films all year and the quality and content of the films just keeps getting better and better.
From October 15 - 19, we will present over 25 films from 14 countries including world premieres, many U.S. premieres and several N.Y. premieres. (The full lineup of films will be released in early September.)

This year's festival will feature three terrific new films on visionary architects who are women!! We promise to tell you more about those films in our next newsletter. But now, we are excited to tell you about an amazing series of 3D films that will be having their U.S. premiere at ADFF this October.

U.S. premiere of Cathedrals of Culture, a revolutionary 3D film project by Wim Wenders (at left). The series brings together six award-winning directors from six countries— Wim Wenders, Robert Redford, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin and Karim Aïnouz—into one creative ensemble for an international event of visionary storytelling. The question at the heart of the project is simple yet polemic: If buildings could talk, what would they say about us? Cathedrals of Culture offers six startling responses, telling a compelling narrative from the perspective of six landmark buildings while exercising the immersive potential of 3D. 
ADFF will present the films in pairs of three curated programs, accompanied by Q&A's and lively discussions about architecture as a mirror for society. The three pairings of films will be in 54-minute programs followed by a 20-minute Q&A moderated by industry luminaries.

Program 1: The Salk Institute by Robert Redford / The Oslo Opera House by Magreth Olin

Program 2: The Berlin Philharmonic by Wim Wenders / Centre Pompidou by Karim Aïnouz

Program 3:  Halden Prison  by Michael Madsen / The National Library of Russia by Michael Glawogger

The Salk Institute by ROBERT REDFORD
Directed by acclaimed actor, film director, producer, and environmentalist Robert Redford, The Salk Institute meditates on architect Louis Kahn’s masterpiece: sharp, modernist angles juxtaposed with the infinity of the California coast. “The building itself is very Euclidean, it’s very geometric,” explains Redford. “I wanted to try this because the 3D experience could help to enhance the romanticizing of those angles.”  Set to the music of Moby, the film urges a larger conversation about the existential qualities of a space—can a building influence and inspire those who work within its walls? 

The Oslo Opera House by MARGRETH OLIN
When the Oslo Opera House, designed by Snøhetta, arrived on the Norwegian city’s struggling waterfront in 2008, it completely transformed the neighborhood. Directed by Margreth Olin, The Oslo Opera House documents the thousand of feet crossing the building’s snow-white roof each day and the hundreds of professionals below: a dramatization of the symbiosis between art and life. “I think that 3D has an emotional aspect and I was interested in exploring it in a different way than I have seen before,” says Olin. In the film, the camera focuses on people, on their faces and bodies, on their relation to the building rather than on the building itself.

The Berlin Philharmonic by WIM WENDERS
Wim Wenders’ The Berlin Philharmonic takes an intimate look at a groundbreaking building whose significance transcends the realm of music and culture. Rising out of the desolation of World War II, not only was it the first concert hall where the stage was placed at the center of the auditorium, in the early sixties, it stood alongside the Berlin Wall—two iconic structures offering completely disparate views of the future: one of inclusion and possibility, the other of exclusion and fear. Fifty years later, it is Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonic that remains standing.  In The Berlin Philharmonic, the viewer comes to know the building through the eyes and ears of its occupants, each of whom have a profound connection to the space.

Centre Pompidou
Architecturally, this futuristic mecca of culture—designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in 1977—has a great affinity to 3D: transparency, independent colorful volumes, and an exposed structure that gives viewers the sensation of floating through the body of the building. But it is the Parisian landmark’s striking similarity to an airport that drives the narrative of Centre Pompidou. The film imagines a day in the life of the Centre, starting in its main hall—an arrivals and departures hall brimming with excitement—and going on a voyage into the rich, complex, and challenging world of present-day culture.

Norway’s Halden Prison, designed by Danish architectural firm EMA, was described as “the world’s most humane prison” by TIME Magazine. But can a prison be truly humane? Michael Madsen’s Halden Prison demonstrates the paradox of a building that is meant to contain and punish dangerous convicts, yet has barless windows, panoramic views of breathtaking nature, and offers its denizens a unique imitation of “normal life.” As Madsen explains, “The ideal of architecture is to have no boundaries between the inside and outside … and a prison has to do the exact opposite.” 

The National Library of Russia by MICHAEL GLAWOGGER
Since 1814, the walls of the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg, designed by Yegor Sokolov, have been guarding a kingdom of thoughts that goes back much further than the building. In contrast, beyond the library’s walls lies a world that has grown increasingly reliant on invisible clouds of data to store human knowledge. In The National Library of Russia, Michael Glawogger allows the library to speak through chosen excerpts of its finest literature—powerful reminders of the ephemeral beauty of books, their shelters, and their human protectors. 

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