Visionary Architecture on Film: Things to Come

Visionary Architecture on Film: Things to Come

Thursday, May 4, 2023

6:00 PM–8:00 PM
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Cinema has long built new worlds on screen, whether through ambitious architectural set design or, more recently, computer generated imagery (CGI). Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch, this series presents five films whose backdrops are themselves works of art. Each of them reveals the important role film has played as a site for architectural experimentation and a way of imagining the future.

H.G. Wells wrote Things to Come (1936; 1 hour, 46 minutes) in response to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). The film spans 1936–2036 as the citizens of Everytown, England envision the future of their city and debate the role technology should play. It is set in a subterranean cave, the antithesis to Metropolis’s skyscrapers, and includes abstract sequences designed by Bauhaus artist Lászlo Moholy-Nagy. In one scene, a child of the future remembers a bygone city, saying, “What a strange place New York was, all sticking up.”

This series is organized by Ella Comberg, MA ’24 in the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art.