Dezeen Magazine

City Dreamers, directed by Joseph Hillel
Photograph courtesy of Denise Scott Brown

Five movies not to miss at New York's Architecture and Design Film Festival

New York's Architecture and Design Film Festival founder has picked out five screenings to get in the diary ahead of the event's opening next week, including movies that explore the lives and works of architect Denise Scott Brown, Bauhaus educator László Moholy-Nagy and 20th-century architect Bruce Goff.

Forming part of month-long event Archtober, the 11th edition of the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF) New York takes place from 16 to 20 October 2019 at the Cinépolis theatre complex in Chelsea.

It comprises 25 short and feature-length architecture films selected by ADFF founder and director, Kyle Bergman.  including the world premiere of a film focused on the legacy of Bauhaus educator László Moholy-Nagy, as well as features on James Turrell, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mario Botta.

Ahead of ADFF's opening, Bergman has picked out five films not to be missed:

Photograph by Ron Milewski 1971, courtesy CCA

City Dreamers, directed by Joseph Hillel
Showtimes: Sunday 20 at 7:30pm

What's important about City Dreamers is that these four women were at the top of their fields in architecture and urban planning at a time when they were usually the only women in the room. Looking at all the footage from their extensive careers, it's shocking to see the huge disparity of women in the workforce and is truly inspiring to see how much each of them accomplished even when culture made it so hard to achieve.

We felt there was no film better to close the 2019 NY film festival, especially considering this is the US premiere and several of these designers have made tremendous impacts on the architectural landscape of New York City.

The New Bauhaus, directed by Alysa Nahmias
Showtimes: Wednesday 16 at 7:30pm, Saturday 19 at 9:15pm and Sunday 20 at 5:30 pm

Making it's world premiere at the opening night of the festival, the most important thing about this film is that is shows how Moholy-Nagy was really an artist ahead of his time. His adept skill in many mediums across a wide array of fields – from photography, painting, product design and architecture – allowed him to develop a school that was really about a broader creative education.

The New Bauhaus ultimately went on to inspire and teach many of the minds who helped shape popular culture: from the graphics in James Bond movies and Rolling Stones albums to Playboy covers and Dove Soap!

GOFF, directed by Britni Harris 

GOFF, directed by Britni Harris 
Showtimes: Friday 18 at 6:30pm, Saturday 19 at 7pm and Sunday 20 at 1:45pm

A feature film on Bruce Goff is long overdue and we are thrilled to host its US premiere. Every building of GOFF is completely different. There truly is no one 'Goff' aesthetic. Yet his relentless and eccentric creativity in seen in every one of his buildings.

Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience, directed by Akira Boch

Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience, directed by Akira Boch
Showtimes: Friday 18 at 9:15pm, Saturday 18 at 7:15pm and Sunday 20 at 1:30 pm

This film looks at the five creative geniuses – Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S Neil Fujita, and Gyo Obata – that came out of the Japanese internment camps during WWII and the community within that knew it was important to teach art to these children.

It's hard to believe that something so beautiful came from something so horrible and that these children came out of it inspired rather than destroyed and ready to change the world for the better.

Poetics of Living, directed by Damien Faure and Caroline Alder

Poetics of Living, directed by Damien Faure and Caroline Alder
Showtimes: Thursday 17 at 8:45pm, Saturday 19 at 7:30pm and Sunday 20 at 3:45pm

What is so beautiful about this film is how these poets and architects came together to talk about the built environment in this small utopian community north of Valparaiso, Chile. What they created is so unusual and so inspiring that it's hard to believe there aren't more communities like this, which understand the unique symmetry that architecture and poetry share.