Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Architecture and Film

There's a lot of crap about the relationship of architecture and film, mostly because students like films. I note that now I am old I don't go to the cinema, I get what I'm served up by Sky. I note that when I did enjoy going to the movies, it was for other reasons than just watching the film, largely youthful reasons at that. Now, standing there in the shower soaping my grey beard, I can't figure how film can have any relation to architecture whatsoever, since serving up crap for morons is not by enlarge an architects objective. Or is it. With film, the economic imperative always assures that each period at least gets what it deserves, so there may be equivalence there. Also it's hard to compare whole teams of creative people not knowing what they are doing in Hollywood with teams of beavering architects wherever. Or can you.
However I did spend a considerable amount of time and energy, years and money, studying precisely the relationship of architecture to film. I remember instructing people from the interior of the London Cheers Bar (now closed) on the essentials of theming, and it all seemed terribly exciting. You'd say bogus things like 'This is not a menu, this is a film script!' as if it were true. Building as stage set I could easily understand, and I loved LA for looking and feeling like it did and Las Vegas for looking and feeling like it did because they were both thoroughly about architecture and film, as long as you didn't start talking about camera angles. It had nothing to do with camera angles.
Above is The Body Shop, a strip club on Sunset Boulevard opposite the Chateaux Marmont. During the day it looks like a body shop (garage). That's what I loved about it, that and the fact that it is mentioned by the Motley Crue in 'Girls Girls Girls'. That, in a nutshell, is the meaning of the relation between architecture and film, or in this case, hair metal, and it doesn't take a lot to work it out, and to reason that I was very quick to go in and take a look around, feel the ambiance etc. But please note, even if it is raining in this photograph, that is not a profound reference to LA Noir detective stories or Columbo's omnipresent mac or even a sideways feeling for Jim Morrison's lovely line in LA Woman 'Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light, or just another lost angel.....City of Night?' It was just raining.

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