Between the Light and Shadow in Architecture
When considering the aesthetics of montage, Eisenstein believed that film and architecture, both being artistic expressions that value structure, are the closest: films are composed of shots, whereas buildings are constructed with bricks.
When you watch a movie, you first encounter the characters and the story. Simultaneously, you experience the time and space through the surroundings; architecture is an integral part of cinematography that one cannot ignore. Architectural entity can be individual or collective, it can exist independently, extend into the landscape of the community, or even reach the skyline of a city. The significance of architecture lies in its ability to reflect religious, racial and class identities, visions of an ideal life, as well as the relationship between human beings and nature.
"Architecture films" can be understood as films that consciously present architecture as an indispensable element. Be it a documentary that surveys the history and culture of architecture, a feature film inspired by architectural anecdotes, or a new form of work that is based on aesthetics, architecture films give rise to an enhanced aesthetic experience by combining two types of art. With the help of composition, cinematography and narratives, threedimensional structures come to life through the two-dimensional format of a film.
Hong Kong Architekture Film Festival (HKAFF) is most likely the first architecture film festival in Asia. Within the framework of "Architecture X Film", HKAFF has selected five new and old feature films and four documentaries of various lengths, among which include classics and novel works. Exploring architecture through films, and enjoying films through architectural aesthetics: this festival aims to enhance the visual sensitivity of the audience, and to encourage local productions to put more emphasis on their depiction of architecture.
Hong Kong films have always been documenting the growth of our city. In the 1980s and 1990s, films frequently featured local elements such as floor-to-ceiling glass, views from rooftops overlooking the city, as well as tong lau and public housing estates. Driven by the awareness of identity in post-millennial independent films, the uniqueness of community became an important consideration in the development of plots. In recent years, Hong Kong films have entered a challenging period. With the reemergence of eclecticism, the depiction of urban landscape has become obscure. Perhaps now is the time to regain our city's recognition, to raise architectural sensibilities, and to polish Hong Kong films. I sincerely hope that HKAFF can contribute to this vision.
Film Culture Centre (Hong Kong)
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