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  • The City as Time Machine

    AFFR 2013, 10-13 October, LantarenVenster, Rotterdam

    Photos: AFFR


    The 7th edition of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR), the major festival in the field of film and architecture all over the world, will be held from 10 to 13 October. More than 100 films on current trends in urban design and architecture will be screened in the LantarenVenster cinema in Rotterdam, Holland.
    Disused buildings. Renovation. Reuse. Temporary function. Ghost towns. Inflatable and 3D-printed buildings. The AFFR brings the most up-to-date themes from the world of architecture to the silver screen. This year’s theme is: TIME MACHINE. The multi-faceted programme of this 7th edition is evidence that ‘the city as time machine’ is currently a bottomless well of inspiration for film directors. That is hardly surprising: all around us we see the dramatic influence of the economic recession on the building industry. We are obliged to shape our surroundings in a different, more creative way. And that results in fascinating narratives. Here is a selection from the films that will première during the festival:
    The AFFR opens on 10 October with the world première of The Competition (Angel Borrego, ESP). An inside view of an architecture competition reveals the true nature of the star architects and the way in which architectural firms go about their work. It is a painful confrontation that will draw a wry grin from every architect.
    Reaching for the sky (Bert Oosterveld and Peter Frankenest, NL) is a frank report on the personal and professional dilemmas of Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit, the architects of the TV tower in Guangzhou.
    How do you deal with masterpieces that have fallen into disuse? The film Haus Tugendhat (Dieter Reifarth, GER) tells the story of the tough struggle by the Tugendhat heirs to breathe new life into this Mies van der Rohe design.
    City:Hall (Jeong Jaeeun, KOR) tells the story of the building of the new Seoul city hall, for which the architect Yoo Kerl made a futuristic design. He found himself in a rollercoaster of rejection and calls for adaptation by the administration, commissions, builders and citizens – just like the Netherlands!
    Another world première: the film Margaret Staal-Kropholler (Magda Augusteijn and Prosper de Roos) is about the first woman architect in the Netherlands. Her villas in Bergen and Richard Roland Holst’s studio in Zundert are exceptionally beautiful. The film directors visit the buildings and discuss the development of the architect’s work and the social position of women at the time with her daughter and granddaughters.
    Caos en la Ciudad by Enrique Pérez is a film about the city of Panama, which is turning into a ghost town for dubious reasons. The city is full of tower blocks that are almost all empty, awaiting the moment that they can be sold at a profit. This is the European première of the film.
    Debates, lectures and talk shows The film programme is complemented by a series of debates, lectures and talk shows. One of the guests of honour at the festival is James Sanders, author of the book Celluloid Skyline. He will give a unique lecture on the city of New York in films.
    There is also a Rotterdam programme. There will be a screening of the film Rotterdam 2040 by Gyz la Rivière and two debate programmes: Kultur = Kapital with a comparison between Rotterdam and Berlin, and the debate Rotterdam DNA. Now that the government is retreating to the wings and the initiative lies with citizens and entrepreneurs, the question is: who will rise to the challenge?

    Installáció az AFFR-en, fotó: Frank Hanswijk

    Installation, photo: Frank Hanswijk