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The Wall in Film: A Study of Architectural Magnificence in Film

Part 1 Dissertation 2020
Mirian Vanda
Arts University Bournemouth | UK
In the third year of my BA Architectural studies I had the opportunity to explore film as a way of understanding architecture. The unit Research by Making allowed me to explore how film and architecture converge through an extended essay and an integrated practical project. The essay researches a number of classic and contemporary films, such as Black Girl (1966), In the Mood for Love (2000), Tokyo Story (1953), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), Cinema Paradiso (1988) and The Beaches of Agnès (2008) to explore how the solid wall – the primary tectonic element – is capable of operating as a background, spatial divider, and screen. To develop this argument the essay draws on cinematic, architectural, and philosophical literature, including Semper, 1851; Pallasmaa, 2001; Bruno, 2007; and Tobe, 2017. As part of the Research by Making Project, an abstract 1:200 model of a domestic space was constructed and filmed in black and white. This film further investigates Gottfried Semper’s notion of ‘magnificence’ to support the thesis through a concrete application of its findings.
Mirian Vanda

Willem De Bruijn
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