Walls Have Feelings: Architecture, Film and the City

Hardcover (Print)
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Every day films are made in cities, buildings and rooms, and every day architects and urbanists make decisions about cities, buildings and rooms. Their skills are addressed to the same subject but they inhabit different worlds. Now, for the first time, this book brings the insights, methodologies and visions of film to the practice of architecture.

Walls Have Feelings uses film to reassess post-war architecture and urbanism in London, Paris and New York. It takes a close and provocative look at classic films from the Forties, Fifties and Sixties, including Alfie, Passport to Pimlico, Mary Poppins, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. In particular, the book examines the equivocal portrayal of women and sex to provide new and surprising insights into the impact of 'technical' decisions - from road building to damp penetration - that currently affect our lives. This book interconnects the detail, the interior, and the city at large.

Walls Have Feelings poses unanswered questions from our immediate past, crucial for the future of the city: what was the cultural mindset leading to the triumph of Brutalism? What is the urban and domestic impact of large scale office building? Are there alternatives to the planners' city of objects? And why does your flat leak?

This book uniquely brings to bear questions of urgent cultural relevance on critical design decisions. As such, it is of as much importance to architects, planners and students of design, as to students of cultural history, geography and all enthusiasts of cities and of film.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Shonfield is an exemplary close-reader, functioning very well as literary, film and architecture critic ... The book comes highly recommended.' - Building Design
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415235419
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Pages: 216
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

How to use this book
Pt. 1 The Detail 1
1 How Brutalism defeated picturesque populism: parallels in film and architecture 3
2 Why does your flat leak? 32
Pt. 2 The Interior 53
3 These walls have feelings: the interiors of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby 55
4 Wives and lovers: the 1960s' office interior: Alfie, The Apartment and Darling 75
Pt. 3 The City 109
5 Free circulation = free copulation: women and roads in Nana and Two or Three Things I Know About Her 111
6 Against the city of objects: Our Mutual Friend, Mary Poppins, L.A. Story 130
Endpiece 154
Bibliography 177
Acknowledgements 181
List of illustrations 184
Filmography 193
Index 194
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