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					                                      ‫آﻠﻴﺔ اﻝﻬﻨﺪﺳﺔ‬
                                 ‫ﻗﺴﻢ اﻝﻬﻨﺪﺳﺔ اﻝﻤﻌﻤﺎریﺔ‬
                                    ‫اﻝﺪراﺳﺎت اﻝﻌﻠﻴﺎ‬
                                   ‫ﻡﺴﺘﻘﺒﻠﻴﺎت اﻝﻌﻤﺎرة‬




Significance of Future
Architecture in Science
Fiction Films.
Professor    Khaled Dwedar.
             Amr Al-Gohary.
Name         Islam M.Abouhela.
Term         June 2005.
Assignment   Final Essay.




                                                         0
                                                                    Abstract




T   his paper investigates how aspects of future architecture
in science fiction films act as architectural signifiers used by
the directors to convey there personal visions and statements,
as for architecture in cinema , architecture is used as a
communication tool through which directors and film makers
send certain messages.

This investigation will be carried out by analyzing different
science fiction movies in which architecture played and
important role as a good signifier, signifying different aspects
of the society, (economical, political, sociological, ecological,
technological, etc…).

Both    film   and    architecture   operate     as   languages
communicating through a library of signs. These signs can be
divided into two parts, the signifiers, which are the physical
states of signs, and the signified, which are the thoughts,
ideas and notions of what the signifiers embody. For film,
these signifiers succeed largely in signifying the signified, on
the other hand, architecture can’t always succeed to that
extent of the film, as for architecture there are different
factors that get involved in the production process of a
building, and these factors don’t help all the time in revealing
the messages behind the architectural work.

This paper concludes that our world is subjected to lots of
rabid changes, resulting from the huge development of
technology and capitalism, and the cinema industry plays a
major role in portraying these changes, depicting the
upcoming future through different science fiction movies,
which act as an alarm for change. Unfortunately most of these
depiction view the future city as a dystopic realm, and if we
don’t manage how to fix our upcoming problems, these visions
might come true.

Keywords:
Architecture, Future, Sci-Fi, Vision, Semiotics




                                                                               1
                                                                  Introduction



C        inema and architecture are distant arts, dynamic and
static respectively, whose complex relationship gives life to
each other. Sharing a mutual respect for the parallel
processes involved in producing their works, the creators
behind these two expressions have an understanding that one
will always benefit the other. Architecture gives film its
believability; setting the mood, character, time and place for
the action. Film provides architecture with an outlet for
realising visions that can never exist and entreats experiences
that in reality have not occurred.

In professional life, architecture can’t always act as a real
mirror for its society or its context, this is due to the
involvement of different factors in the design and building
process, (financial, political, ecological, etc…). Sometimes,
these factors blur the message to be sent to the viewer or the
user of the architectural work, resulting in a misunderstanding
in the motives behind that architectural work.
In the medium of film, architects can create ‘pure’
architecture, without worrying about such things like
weatherproofing, contract bidding, or building codes.
Cinemarchitecture is, thus, an ideal fulfillment of what
architecture can be about.

In this paper a brief overview and analysis of the some
important movies, (from the points of view of filmmakers,
critiques and architects) will be held through discussing the
significance and motivations behind these architectural forms
in these movies.

Discussed movies include:

   •   Metropolis (1927)
   •   Blade Runner (1982)
   •   Star Wars (1977 – 2005)
   •   The Fifth Element (1997)
   •   Minority Report (2002)
   •   Equilibrium (2002)




                                                                             2
M       etropolis, 2026: The Architecture of Metropolis (1927)

Fritz Lang’s tale of class struggle relies heavily on rich set
designs for its impact. This artistic re-presentation of the city
of the future has remained as one of the most striking images
of modernity.
Lang’s early architectural training is evident in the way
atmosphere and narrative are developed through the use of
expressionistic and symbolic architectural signifiers. Lang
visuals show us a very crowded and busy, yet extremely
beautiful metropolis, where the ruling class inhabits vaulting,
futuristic art deco buildings that fly up high up into the sky
[Fig.1].


Lang said that Metropolis had its genesis in his trip to New        Fig. 1: The “New Tower of Babel”,
York City in the October of 1924, when he saw American              Metropolis’ (1927) central skyscraper,
skyscrapers for the first time [Fig. 2 & Fig. 3]. As a whole, the   home of the Elite
film serves to reflect Lang’s vision of a technologically
dependent society and in turn comments upon the
industrialization of his homeland.


High-rise towers act as ‘machines for living in’, streets
becomes channels carrying goods and people, automobile and
pedestrian traffic is separated, and activities are zoned in a
primarily vertical hierarchy.


Metropolis depicts an impressive traffic system inspired by
William Robinson Leigh’s Visionary City (1908) [Fig. 4] and
Sant Elia’s Citta Nuova (1913-14) [Fig.5]; with numerous
suspended streets spanning between different buildings at
various levels and a number of traffic arteries running
underneath buildings. Roads are vast, straight and viciously        Fig.2: Broadway, New York: a 1924
determined.                                                         Photograph taken by Fritz Lang.




                                                                    Fig.3: Night in the streets of Metropolis
                                                                    (1927).




                                                                                                                3
When looking at architecture in Metropolis there are many
forms and influences. New York skyscrapers, Bauhaus, Art
Deco and Gothic (Gothic Expressionist) are all style that are
expressed, large or small, in Metropolis. The combination of
the plot and the entire set creates a very important role for
the architecture to fit into. The role of Gothic architecture in
particular demonstrates the differences between the people
below ground (the workers) and the people above (the livers).
It has been chosen as the representational style of
architecture because it shows the power and weakness
between the two groups of people. The people above ground
are the ones that can navigate through the perfectly ordered
city, where as, the people below are at work and are almost
weighed down by the imagery of this large Gothic style
infrastructure. The strong, heavy, large geometric forms along
with the scale of the architecture clearly shows who are in
control and who is less dominate. This extreme between the
strong and the weak is needed to complete the plot and
capture the audience in the storyline. The Gothic architecture
also enables the struggle for power to be more dramatic and
                                                                   Fig.4: William Robinson Leigh’s
stages the dominance, technology and structure in the film. It
                                                                   Visionary City (1908).
also sets great context for the viewer to feel abundant by the
story and the set.

Metropolis, on the other hand, is set in a futuristic world of
massive buildings and infrastructure which convey a sense of
power and calculated coldness that is commonly associated
with the technological age. Buildings here are exact and pure,
reflecting the polished physicality of the machines that support
them. The buildings appear at all time to be artificially lit,
revealing the smoothness of their surfaces, their repeated
matrices of elements and their incredible height. Roads are
vast, straight, the size and appearance of the architecture
identifies the nature of its peoples as being faceless,
oppressed and cold.

To help us understand why the city in Metropolis (1927) is
depicted in this fashion, there are a couple of important things
to keep in mind about the environment in which the film was
produced. Germany at the midpoint between World War I and
World War II, was a country were manufacturing was still the
king of the economy, even though the economy itself was “in
a state of disorder, inflation was out of control and the           Fig.5: Sant Elia’s Citta Nuova’s
National Socialist, or Nazi, party was starting to come to          (1913) station for aero planes and
prominence”. However, the majority of the wealthy Germans           trains.
lived high above the poverty of the common citizen. Metropolis
thus tried to portray the city that might have risen from
Germany’s despair, and has very often been considered to be
just an elaborate piece of Nazi propaganda. In fact, the film
was much loved by Hitler and Fritz Lang was even offered a
job creating films for the Third Reich. Lang, being half Jewish,
however, refused the offer and escaped to the United States
where he continued his successful career. This movie could
have been a foreshadowing of what the world would have
been like if the industrial revolution had kept growing.




                                                                                                         4
L    os Angeles, 2019: The Architecture of Blade Runner
(1982)

Ridley Scott’s 1982 film has become the most credible
cinematic futuristic manifesto of our age. Through its informed
vision of a future Los Angeles, the film offers a deep insight
into the future of architecture and urbanism, while also
providing commentaries on contemporary realities and trends.
The film hypothesizes that by the year 2019, Los Angeles will
be a city that supports a population of over 90 million people
(Round 2002). The colonization of the elite to utopian “off-
world” planets has resulted in the large scale immigration of       Fig.6: The Tyrell Corporation’s 700-storey
the upper class, leaving the city populated by a mainly ethnic      headquarters pyramid resembles a Mayan
underclass. The cityscape is in a state of urban decay and has      temple. (Blade Runner 1982)
become totally synthetic. The middle-class suburbs have been
overtaken by the city transforming into a sprawling industrial
zone, while huge mega-structures now dominate the center of
the city [Fig. 6].

Syd mead, production designer of Blade Runner talks about
the motive and inspiration behind the set design:
“I took the two world trade towers in New York City and the
New York street proportions as a .today' model, and expanded
everything vertically about two and a half times. This inspired
me to make the bases of the buildings sloping to cover
aboutsix city blocks, on the premise that you needed more
ground access to the building mass.” [Fig. 7]

Metropolis (1927) and Blade Runner share this sense of urban
gigantism and geometrical form. While the “New Tower of             Fig. 7: Concept drawing for Blade Runner
Babel” dominates the skyline of Metropolis, here it is the          (1982) by Syd Mead. Megastructures loom
pyramid of the Tyrell Corporation headquarters that serves as       above the decaying city beneath.
the city’s nucleus. The building’s presence is overpowering, in
it evokes a strong sense of financial power. Ridley Scott’s
Blade Runner (1982) like Metropolis (1927) reveals class
structure through its vertical architecture.

The Los Angeles of 2019 is essentially a city of contradiction;
high rises, pyramids and glass towers intermingle with revival
architecture, historical buildings, and the debris of past urban
sprawl [Fig. 8]. The visual layering of architectural typologies
from various cultural pasts creates a post-modern image of a
globalized world.

Due to the drain of wealth that accompanied the mass                Fig. 8: Bloated Byzantine columns support
immigration, the city becomes a place where the whole               the Bradbury Building. (Blade Runner, 1982)
economic process is slowed down. The removal of old
buildings begins to cost far more than the construction of a
new ones. Instead of tearing down buildings or dismantling
established technologies, modifications and additions are thus
added to existing structures. What results is a deeply layered
city, where new use has grown over and subsumed Los
Angeles’ architectural history (the film utilizes such historical
Los Angeles buildings as the Bradbury Building, Union Station
and the Yukon Hotel for several of its most important scenes).


                                                                                                            5
New structural elements extend through old buildings to
support new construction above; while ducts, signs and
service pipes run, snake like, over the old façades . As the
cables and generator tubes delivering air and waste go up the
old buildings, the street level becomes nothing more than a
service alley to the Megastructures above [Fig. 9].

“Things are retrofitted after the fact of the original
manufacture because the old, consumer-based technology               Fig. 9: The Bradbury Building’s exterior is
wasn’t keeping up with demand. Things have to work on a              covered with retro-fitted ducts and structural
day-to-day basis and you do whatever necessary to make it            members that support the Megastructure
                                                                     above. (Blade Runner,1982)
work. So you let go of the style and it becomes pure function.
The whole visual philosophy of the film is based on this social
idea” Syd Mead.

The aesthetic of retrofitting is very similar to the adaptive
façade concept of Archigram’s Peter Cook. His 1978 Trickling
Tower project [Fig. 10] starts its existence as a polished steel
Megastructure. Over time, the appearance of the building
changes as new elements are added, and uses changed. Also,
the externalization of infrastructural services (heating, cooling,
water, gas) brings to mind Richard Rogers’ and Renzo Piano’s
Pompidou centre, 1977 [Fig. 11]

The thoughtfulness of the underlying concept, and the layering
of images and associations, makes Blade Runner one of the
most discussed and influential films of our times.                                                Fig. 10: The
The film remains a compelling reminder of just how nasty life                                     aesthetic of retro-
in the twenty-first century may eventually become. It depicts                                     fitting: Peter
a road humanity is heading down now : class separation, the                                       Cook’s Trickling
growing gulf between rich and poor, and the population                                            Tower
explosion; but as such, offers no solutions.




                                                                                                   Fig. 11: External
                                                                                                   structural
                                                                                                   members and
                                                                                                   services, Centre
                                                                                                   Pompidou.




                                                                                                                6
A        Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The
Architecture of the Star Wars Universe (1977 – 2002)

Architecture in the Star Wars films is primarily used by George
Lucas and his team of designers in order to illustrate different
cultural habits and anthropologies. The social characteristic of
the different species of the Star Wars universe are passed on
to the audience through the use of familiar architectural styles
and forms.



C      oruscant

Over thousands of years of civilization, Coruscant has been
entirely enveloped by cities and urban sprawl resulting in a
very densely populated planet.

The control of ‘man’ over nature of the planet is absolute. Not
only there is no sign of any natural vegetation left but the
very climate of the planet is being altered through
technological interventions. Vast orbital mirrors warm its
upper and lower latitudes by refocusing and distributing stellar
energy. The planet's heat is regulated by thousands of
strategically placed CO² reactive dampers in the upper
atmosphere and the city’s water network melts polar ice and
pipes it across the planet.

The architecture of the city appears wildly futuristic [Fig. 12],
                                                                       Fig. 12: The architecture of the city planet
and has been criticized for lacking a historical feel. “It is          Coruscant; a mix of geometric Futurist
rendered with a uniform palette of materials and has a very            forms and 1950s science fiction inspired
clean aluminum and glass aesthetic; a plastic engineered feel          curvatures. (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack
that looks like one person designed it and it was all created in       of the Clones, 2002)
a very short period of time.”

Transportation has moved high into the air, weaving between
the towering skyscrapers and filling the sky with the endless
crisscrossing movement of an immensely busy traffic system
signifying the vast technological development.



N    aboo

Naboo is inhabited by peaceful highly cultured humans known
as the Naboo, and an indigenous species of intelligent
amphibians called the Gungans.

The small populated planet’s river cities are shinning with
classical architecture and greenery [Fig. 13]. The Art
Department used Italian, Moroccan and Turkish influences to
craft a romantic, retro-futuristic civilization that displays a love
of peace and artistic expression.

                                                                        Fig. 13: The Royal Palace of Theed,
                                                                        Naboo: Haga Sophia meets Bernini’s
                                                                        Vatican Colonnade. (Star Wars: Episode
                                                                        II - Attack of the Clones, 2002)    7
O      toh Gunga

Whereas Coruscant is all vertical and Naboo is all horizontal,
the underwater city of the Gungans is all spheres and
roundness. This organically grown city appears as a glittering
cluster of jewel-like bubbles connected together in the dark
waters [Fig. 14]

The architecture of Otoh Gunga is sweeping in shape, lacking
the rectilinear symmetry commonly found in technological
                                                                 Fig. 14: The self grown architecture of the
human designs. Because of their strong belief in symbiotic
                                                                 Gungans strongly recalls Art Nouveau
coexistence with nature, the Gungans actually grow the
                                                                 architecture and furniture design. (Star Wars:
building material of their cities.                               Episode I - The Phantom Menace, 1999)




T   ipoca City
Rising from the violently rough seas of the ocean-planet of
Kamino is Tipoca City, a Sealed air metropolis mounted on
strong supports that withstand the attacking winds and waves
[Fig. 15]. While the city does stand challenging against the
elements, a closer look at its architecture reveals graceful
curves that help redirect and deflect the winds.

The designs of the city draw inspiration from numerous
                                                                 Fig. 15: The aero and hydro-dynamic forms
sources, including massive offshore oil rig structures and the
                                                                 of Tipoca City, Kamino. (Star Wars:
retro curved science fiction cities of American pulp magazines   Episode II – Attack of the Clones, 2002)
of the 1950s. For the city's interior, the designers crafted a
clean, ultramodern and antiseptic environment of glimmering
white well suited to the alien race of genetic engineers that
inhabits them.




T   atooine.
Tatooine architecture signifies a planet lacking in natural
resources, settlers built their villages piece by piece over
many years using there planet resources[Fig. 16]. Curved,
earthen structures resemble adobe pueblos in New Mexico. In
fact, much of what we see in Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia,
on the northern shore of Africa.




                                                                 Fig. 16: The architecture of Tatooine planet.
                                                                 (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom
                                                                 Menace, 1999)


                                                                                                           8
N    ew York 2259:The Architecture of The Fifth Element
(1997)



Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997) manages to present a
very rich multilayered world that extensively comments on the
possibilities of future architectural developments within
existing cities. The film offers a provocative vision of the
future of Manhattan two hundred and fifty years from now
[Fig. 17].

As a result of the planetary exportation of vast amounts of
Earth’s water reserve in order to serve distant planets
following the colonization of the Solar System, the level of the    Fig.17: New York in 2259; a bottomless
oceanic water-table has fallen dramatically.                        urban canyon. (The Fifth Element, 1997)

As a result, following an economic logic similar to that of Blade
Runner’s retrofitting, real-estate developers excavated down,
slicing the island into vertical canyons and instead of replacing
structures constructed new additions to the existing ones not
only on top but also below the old buildings. This changed the
notion of a single street and ground plane for circulation, so
hovering craft were envisioned to roam into stratified layers
throughout the verticality. With the street layer stripped back,
once-hidden infrastructures of subway shafts and city utilities     Fig. 18: As the street level has dropped
are suddenly revealed giving the city a sometimes chaotic           down several hundred meters, all the
machine-like appearance [Fig. 18].                                  services that were once buried are now
                                                                    fully exposed (sewers, metro lines, etc),
                                                                    and the old street level has become just a
In The Fifth Element (1997) Zorg’s powerful capitalist status is
                                                                    series of bridges for the use of pedestrians.
also represented by architecture. The tower he inhabits [Fig.
                                                                    (The Fifth Element, 1997)
19] represents a literal translation of being at the top of the
hierarchy. The building is one of the tallest in the city but not
the most prominent. In fact, the New York of 2259 seems to
lack such a central vertical element.

Fifth element vertical growth is indeed a distinct trait of 20th
century New York, due to the physical constraint of the land
(Manhattan is, in fact, an island) and the ever growing
population of this city. In the year 2259, the viewer is told,
the world has a population of over 200 billion and New York          Fig. 19: Zorg’s tower reaches into the
City has become the capital of the world. The city has, like in      New York sky. (The Fifth Element,1997)
the past, been forced to grow taller, as a result, the metro
transportation system is forced to be integrated vertically into
the building [Fig. 20].

What is important about the Luc Besson’s future New York is
that no matter how much it has changed, it still remains
visibly recognizable as New York.


                                                                    Fig. 20: Due to the vast depth of the city,
                                                                    public transport trains travel up and down
                                                                    the vertical walls of the buildings. (The
                                                                    Fifth Element, 1997)



                                                                                                               9
W      ashington D.C., 2054: The Architecture of Minority
Report (2002)



Minority Report is probably the only film of recent years that
attempts to portray not only an exciting narrative set against
a futuristic backdrop, but also a credible future based on an
intelligent and informed prediction of the present.

Washington of 2054 has evolved into three distinct zones: the
Washington Capitol area where the monuments still stand
                                                                   Fig. 21: Minority Report’s (2002) Washington
proud; the upscale “bedroom community” across the river that
                                                                   D.C. in the year 2054: multi-storey residential
has developed vertically [Fig21]; and the decaying part of the
                                                                   towers interconnected by an intricate network
city that has not kept up with the technological advances          of horizontal, inclined and vertical ‘roads’.
afforded by the rich.
While government buildings are hostile, reflective, and
metallic; the grass in the city is still green, and historic row
houses still stand proud [Fig. 22] presenting the post-
modernist possibility of harmony between the old and the
new.

The integration of infrastructure and cityscape presented so
well by such films as Metropolis (1927) and The Fifth Element       Fig. 22: Historic row houses. (Minority
(1997) is here perfected. A transport network of magnetic           Report, 2002)
levitation vehicles is seamlessly built into the facades of most
of the new buildings [Fig. 23]. It seems that the buildings and
the vehicles exist to complement each other. Inclining
highways forms part of the façades dropped like waterfalls and
merging with horizontal roads. The network of highways
functions in all three dimensions [Fig. 21], as the road surface
totally abandons its dependence on gravity. One must
however question the feasibility of such vehicles when
considering the rest of the still horizontal city, where the
viewer is clearly shown that the old road network still exists.    Fig. 23: The ultimate integration of buildings
                                                                   and infrastructure: roads climb up the façade
                                                                   of a residential block. (Minority Report, 2002)




                                                                                                              10
L    ibria, 2035: The Architecture of Equilibrium (2002)


EQUILIBRIUM presents a vision of a world at peace, with a
tremendous human cost. This is a world where war is a distant
memory, yet where there is no music, no art, no poetry,
where anyone who partakes in such banned activities is guilty
of a "Sense Offense," a crime that carries a death sentence. It
is a world where the age-old question "How do you feel?" can
never be answered because all feelings have been shut out.

Libria is a stark, black-and-white (color, after all, evokes
feelings) metropolis [Fig. 24], which is run by a mysterious
dictator named the Father who wields power through a group
of Ninja-like "clerics" who enforce his vision of peace through
the chemical control of all emotion.

The city of Libria [Fig. 24] in Equilibrium (2002) presents a
controlled state taken to its extremes. The emotion
suppressing state’s agenda is clearly expressed through the          Fig. 24: Libria: a fascist state where all
city’s architecture. Buildings, like the people that inhabit them    citizens are rendered emotionless by the
are faceless and devoid of any feeling. The fascist’s states         state. (Equilibrium, 2002)
media manipulative machine is inbuilt into the infrastructure of
the city: giant billboards overtake whole build facades, and
loud speakers that air a constant stream of propaganda are
located at every corner.

Visual effects supervisor Tim McGovern worked alongside Kurt
Wimmer and Wolf Kroeger to formulate the look of the walled
Librian metropolis. McGovern, who won an Oscar for "Total
Recall," started with a theme of grandiosity. He explains: "The
whole idea of fascist architecture is to make the individual feel
small and insignificant so the government seems more
powerful and I continued that design ethic in the visual
effects. For example, Libria is surrounded by a seventy-five        Fig. 25: Libria: Walls of the city. (Equilibrium,
feet high wall [Fig. 25], the walls just keep going on and on       2002)
and use vertical and horizontal lines in a Mondrian-type way. "




                                                                                                                  11
                                                                     Conclusion

A        n Alarm for Change


While popular thought tends to conclude that the future holds
a better place for man because man has always learnt from
his past mistakes; science fiction film shows that this may not
always be the case.

The imagined future of science fiction film is a realm that is
shaped by capitalism. A dystopic, rather than a utopian future
is the prevailing theme. The imperfect future cities of the
analyzed films are worlds which have been shaped at all scales
by globalization; worlds which are dominated by large
multinationals; worlds of chaotic and fragmented cities; worlds
where the middleclass has been eliminated and the population
neatly divided into haves and have-nots; worlds where the
wealthy live in private and defensible spaces while the poor
are left to fend for themselves in the ungoverned, anarchic,
lawless streets.

Comparing today’s world to the dystopic visions of these
science fiction films reveals that our society is closer to these
images than we might be comfortable with. The classes are
now more divided than ever in terms of wealth, while the
separation remains justified by the elite’s claim that they have
rightfully earned their status and that the workers could
achieve it too some day. While these films and their worlds
are fictional, they seem to point to an extreme that mankind is
slowly but surely working towards.

Whether we like it or not, and more importantly, whether we
realise it or not, our everyday lives are strongly dictated by
work and consumption. It is indeed a depressive thought that
we are still working at least eight hours a day, despite the
remarkable technological advances of the last three decades
within the fields of robotics and computers. The daily toil of
the workers seen in Metropolis (1927) is even more of a
reality for the many millions of people living in Asia, Africa and
South America.

Through their varied plots and architectural depictions of the
city, the films tell us that if mankind does not clean up and
straighten out its act, then humanity as we know it is doomed
forever.




                                                                                  12
Therefore, it seems that the world is facing two opposing
futures: the positive future of our publicly shared hopes and
dreams, and the darker future of decay and ultimate
extinction which occasionally decorates our private sub-
consciousness.

The question however remains: in order to avoid the dark
futures of Metropolis (1927) and Blade Runner (1982), using
these films as a guide, what kind of changes would really need
to be put in place? That, I believe, is a question best asked
and answered in another paper.




                                                                 13
                                                                      Film
                                                                      Synopses
                    Metropolis (1927)
                    Directed by: Fritz Lang
                    Writing credits: Fritz Lang & Thea von
                    Harbou
                    Art Direction by: Otto Hunte, Erich
                    Kettelhut & Karl Vollbrecht

                     Hailed as the first epic science fiction film,
                     Metropolis is essentially a story about class
                     conflict. It is this future humans are
                     divided into two groups: the thinkers, who
                     make plans (but don't know how anything
                     works), and the workers, who achieve
goals (but don't have the vision). Completely separate, neither
group is complete, but together they make a whole. One day
Freder, one of the “thinkers” and the son of the city’s ruler,
dares to visit the underground where the workers toil, and is
astonished by what he sees. He soon falls in love with Maria, a
woman from the lower world. Not only is Maria a member of
the working class, but she is also its most vocal agitator. To
silence her, Freder’s father, Frederson, kidnaps Maria. He then
commissions a mad scientist to construct a robot in her
likeness, which he can use as a tool to control the working
class. This false Maria incites the workers to riot, and chaos
threatens their underground world until the real Maria escapes
and manages to save the day. The film ends with a truce, as
Frederson promises to be nicer to his workers in the future. At
its core, Metropolis is a romance and a modern myth (with
biblical associations)



                         Blade Runner (1982)
                         Directed by: Ridley Scott
                         Writing credits: Hampton Fancher &
                         David            Webb      Peoples,
                         Philip K. Dick (novel)
                         Production Design by: Lawrence G.
                         Paull & Peter J. Hampton

                        Los Angeles, 2019: a special unit of
                        the LAPD, the Blade Runners prowl the
                        steel and micro-chip jungle of the 21st
                        century for assumed humanoids known
                        as 'replicants'. These human clones,
                        which were originally designed to be
used in the ‘off-world’ colonies outside Earth, have been
declared illegal on Earth after a bloody mutiny on one of the
colonies, and are to be terminated (‘retired’) upon




                                                                                 14
detection. Man's obsession with creating a being equal to
himself has back-fired. Rick Deckard is a retired Blade Runner
who is forced to re-enter the force when five replicants escape
from an off-world colony and come to Earth in the hope of
extending their pre-programmed four year life spans. Deckard
falls in love with one of the Replicants he is supposed to kill,
and eventually is forced to question not only the morality of
his mission, but also his own humanity. Blade Runner is
primarily a retelling of a classic detective story and Ridley
Scott’s conception of Deckard is that of the private eye.



                      The Fifth Element (1997)
                      Directed by: Luc Besson
                      Writing credits: Luc Besson
                      Production Design by: Dan Weil

                     Every 5000 years life on Earth is
                     threatened with total destruction. Two
                     hundred and fifty years in the future, Evil
                     returns once more in the form of a dark
                     planet that is slowly approaching Earth.
                     Four primordial elements (earth, fire,
                     water and air) in combination with a fifth
                     one represent the only weapon against
Evil. The Fifth Element is a perfect being, who, Korben Dallas,
an ex-special-agent, turned New York taxi-driver has to find
and protect. Evil is being assisted by Mr. Zorg, a capitalist
leader who seeks to profit from the chaos that Evil and its
alien mercenaries will bring. This product of the European Pop
culture undermines the narrative formula of typical science
fiction Hollywood blockbusters with a subtle satire that borders
on parody.




                     Equilibrium (2002)
                     Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
                     Writing credits: Kurt Wimmer
                     Production Design by: Wolf Kroeger

                      In a futuristic world a strict fascist regime,
                      in an attempt to end wars and maintain
                      peace by suppressing emotions, has
                      outlawed all things that trigger any
                      emotional responses Books, art and music
                      are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime
punishable by death. The guardians of the order, a special
breed of police assigned to eliminate all transgressors, are an
elite fighting force of ‘Grammaton Clerics’ who specialize in the
martial arts system and code of the ‘Gun Kata’. Cleric John
Preston is one of the top ranking Clerics. When he misses a
dose of ‘Prozium’, a mind-altering drug that




                                                                       15
hinders emotion, and suddenly starts ‘feeling’, Preston, who
has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime,
suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.




                     Minority Report (2002)
                     Directed by: Steven Spielberg
                     Writing credits: Scott Frank, Philip K.
                     Dick (short story)
                     Production Design by: Alex McDowell

                      In the future, criminals can be caught
                      before they actually commit their crimes.
                      Technological know-how has found a way
                      of tapping into the nightmares of three
                      'precogs', savants born with the terrifying
                      ability to dream future murders, and to
project them for the analysis of a special Crime Prevention
Squad. It is the responsibility of officers, such as John
Anderton, to identify the perpetrators and find them before
the crime is committed. A firm believer in the questionable
system, Anderson is suddenly accused of one such crime when
the precogs predict that he will kill a man he never knew in
less than 36 hours.
As Anderson sets out to prove his innocence, his trust in the
system diminishing rapidly. With his own colleagues after him,
he follows a very small trace that might hold the key to his
innocence: a strange unsolved yet predicted murder and a
socalled "minority report", a documentation of one of the rare
events in which a precog sees something different than the
other two. This is a story which dramatizes issues of privacy
and the state, free will and determinism.




                                                                    16
                                                                      References

BARBER, S., 2002. Book Review – Projected Cities: Cinema and
Urban Space. Los Angeles, Film International. Available at:
http://www.filmint.nu/netonly/eng/bookreviewprojectedcities.htm

BOAKE, T.M., 2003. Blade Runner (1982) – Discussion
Questions [online]. Waterloo: School of Architecture University
of Waterloo. Available at:
http://www.fes.uwaterloo.ca/architecture/faculty_projects/terri/b
aderunner_question s.html

BOAKE, T.M., 2003. Metropolis (1926) – Discussion Questions
[online]. Waterloo: School of Architecture University of
Waterloo. Available at:
http://www.fes.uwaterloo.ca/architecture/faculty_projects/terri/m
etropolis_questions.html

BOYKO, E., 2003. Metropolis(1927) – A Review [online].
Waterloo: School of Architecture University of Waterloo.
Available at:
ttp://www.geocities.com/metropolis_film

CARLIN, P., 1997. Cinema and architecture: Melies, Mallet-
stevens, multimedia [online]. London: British Film Institute.
Available at:
www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast/shorts/reviews/rev1298/brp
cdec.html

CAVAGNA, C., 2000. Blade Runner: Analysis [online]. (s.l.):
AboutFilm. Available
at: http://www.aboutfilm.com/movies/b/bladerunner.htm

GROST, M.E., 1996. The Films of Fritz Lang [online]. Michigan,
AOL. Available at: http://members.aol.com/MG4273/lang.htm

KISSELL, G., 1999. Exclusive Interview Syd Mead [online].
California: BladeZone. Available at:
http://www.bladezone.com/contents/film/interviews/sydmead/
interview.html

LEE, B., 2002. Fifth Element [online]. Waterloo: School of
Architecture University
of Waterloo. Available at:
http://www.fes.uwaterloo.ca/architecture/faculty_projects/terri/fif
th.




                                                                                   17
Piotr, Armays, 2004. Future Imperfect, A dissertation submitted
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Architecture & Civil Engineering Faculty of
Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Malta, June
2004.


RIGG, J., 2002. Minority Report Review [online]. Bill Leak.
Available at:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/nclub/stories/s587158.htm

ROWLEY, S., 1999. The Least Scary Option: Blade Runner and
the Future City [online]. Melbourne: Pacific Internet. Available
at: http://home.mira.net/~satadaca/bladrunn.htm

TIMBERMAN, W., 1994. The Future of Our Discontents: The
Contributions of
Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner to the Landscapes of the Twenty-
First Century
[online]. Buffallo: University at Buffallo. Available at:
http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcnewman/BladeRunner/bressay1.h
tm




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