The Future Cities project

promoting a human-centred approach to nature

» Film reviews

Blade Runner’s Retro Futures

by Dr. H J McCracken | 14 Oct 2017

We are now only two years from the dateline of the original Blade Runner. Ray Bradbury’s melancholic future of Martian settlement and abandonment, The Martian Chronicles, has since long passed Read more…

Film Review ‘The Big City’

ray-portraitMartin Earnshaw | 25 January 2015

The Big City (1963), directed by Satyajit Ray, is essentially a story of modernity. The superb opening scene traces Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #6

the_airstrip3Matthew Bloomfield | 7 January 2015

The Airstrip: Decampment of Modernism, Part III. Dir. Heinz Emigholz, 2014

Heinz Emigholz’s ongoing meditation on architecture continues Read more…

Film Review: ‘Precise Poetry’


Louise Bjørnskov Schmidt | 05 January 2015

“I’m an architect! I can’t go through walls! I’m not a witch! All I can do with walls is break them down.” This quote by Lina Bo Bardi is not to be understood literally; Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #5

MegacitiesSteve Nash | 2 October 2014

Megacities – Twelve Stories of Survival. Dir. Michael Glawogger, 1998

This film is a tour de force. Part documentary and part fictionalised account of the lives Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #4

Ecumenopolis 1Martin Earnshaw | 9 October 2014

Ecumenopolis: City without Limits, Dir. Imre Azem, 2012

When we think of a World City we think of a globalised hub like London Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #3

EcopolisJosh Broomer | 7 October 2014

‘Ecopolis China’, Directed by Anna-Karin Grönroos

Anna-Karin Grönroos’s insightful Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #2

lahaineMatthew Bloomfield | 2 October 2014

‘La Haine’, Dir. Mathieu Kassovitz

Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #1

OlsoOH-300x133Magdalena Melon | 29 September 2014

‘Cathedrals of Culture’

If buildings could talk, what would they say about us? Under the direction of Wim Wenders Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture” #2

nghiaMagdalena Melon | 4 September 2014
“Greening the city”
If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles. Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture”

RicardoRocinha Pedro Calmon | 29 August 2014

“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” 

“The favela is unplanned, it arises spontaneously, with no help or design from government” Read more…

Whatever happened to Utopia?

FILM: ‘Utopia London’ by Tom Cordell, 2010

Reviewed by Rowan Morrice | 14 September 2012

It’s not often we hear about Utopia these days. An idea which used to be identified with the future, is now a purely historic phenomenon. Today when it seems we can only imagine a dystopian future, this film presents a nostalgic look back at the Modern movement in 20th Century London.  Read more…

FILM: Urbanization

‘Urbanized’ directed by Gary Hustwit, 2011

Reviewed by Michael Owens | 25 June 2012

Urbanized is the cinematic delight one might expect of Gary Hustwit, the director of this, the third in a trilogy of studies in design, following Helvetica (modernism in a typeface), and Objectified (industrial and product design). Each deals with a dimension of design’s intimate relationship daily life. Read more…

The housewife that changed the world?

‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ by Jane Jacobs; Random House, 1961. 458pp

Reviewed by Alastair Donald | 31 July 2011

“From this house in 1961, a housewife changed the world.” When she died in 2005, the tributes and flowers on the pavement outside Jacobs’ former flat in Greenwich Village suggested the high esteem in which she is held by many designers who see her as having played a pivotal role in altering how we currently think about cities.  Read more…

East vs West

Comparing the post-war literature & cinema of East and West Germany (1945-1990)

Martha Williams | March 2011

On May 8th 1945, the war ended for Germany with the signing of the unconditional surrender for German forces. On the June 5th, the Allies signed a treaty proclaiming their authority over German territory: the country would be governed through four occupied zones belonging to Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States. From this moment on, and for almost half a century to come, Germany was divided.  Read more…

THEATRE: A New World

‘A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine’ by Trevor Griffiths, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. September 2009

Reviewed by Thomas Gartrell | 25 September 2009

In 1791, Tom Paine began the Rights of Man – his defence of the ongoing French Revolution – with an address to George Washington, the first President of the newly founded United States of America. Read more…

FILM: Milk

‘Milk’ directed by Gus Van Sant, 2009

Reviewed by Thomas Gartrell | 20 February 2009

Hands up… until the film opened, I didn’t know what Milk was about – let alone who Harvey Milk was and what he stood for. So I was annoyed when a friend gave away the ending just before I went to see it. But rest assured, it takes nothing away from Milk to know in advance that its main character, American gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Read more…

FILM: Slumdog Millionaire

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan, 2008

Reviewed by Siddharth Rajan | 8 February 2009

Danny Boyle has created a masterpiece in “Slumdog Millionaire”. With some great technical work and a rather unique storyline (based on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup), Danny has created what some are suggesting the best movie of 2008 worldwide. Read more…

EXHIBITION: Andrea Palladio

‘Andrea Palladio: His life and legacy’ at  the Royal Academy of Arts, London

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 5 February 2009

Palladio is one of those figures of architectural history generally known more by name than output, and so it is interesting – and curious – that there is currently such a concentrated focus on his work. Read more…