When Tim Hossler, an assistant professor in KU’s Department of Design, approached us last fall with the idea of doing a series exploring modern architecture in film, we reached consensus almost immediately. The concept was appealing: examine the role that modern architecture has played in film — the modernist medium par excellence — appreciated through the eyes of KU School of Architecture faculty. The venue was ideal: the new Forum at Marvin Hall, a light-controlled glass box designed by students in Prof. Dan Rockhill’s Studio 804 class. How could we refuse? Indeed, we are thrilled about this connection with the School and delighted to have award-winning author and Professor of Architecture Stephen Grabow introduce the first two films of our modernism in cinema series.
On April 1st, appropriately enough, we will screen Playtime, French director Jacques Tati’s 1967 film that, along with his earlier film Mon Oncle, is the basis of our “Can Architecture be Funny?” tagline. Tati creates architectural jokes, in which people’s interaction with modern architecture, or modernity, is oftentimes quite funny. “Playtime is a great start to this series because it illustrates the dysfunctionality of certain aspects of modern architecture,” Grabow says. “The contrast between organic and mechanical — with people being organic and modernism being mechanical — is brilliant and very entertaining.”
Please join us at The Forum on April 1st. Prof. Grabow will introduce Playtime at 7 p.m. A discussion will follow the screening of the movie. Please see the flyer for details about the next film in the series, Mon Oncle, which we will screen May 6. (The flyer can be enlarged for high-resolution viewing by double-clicking.)
We wish to thank Prof. Hossler (who also designed the poster above), Prof. Grabow, and the KU School of Architecture for facilitating this exciting new franchise.
All films are free and open to the public.
- Tom, Bill & Dennis