URBAN ReTHINK

TRACKING THE FUTURE OF CITIES

City Visions: London’s Barbican offers a cinematic exploration of cities

Photo: The Barbican

Photo: The Barbican

The Barbican cultural centre in London (UK) is hosting City Visions, a two-week long celebration of the past, present and future of the urban form and the people who are brave enough to call it home. Designating it a film festival wouldn’t do this event justice, as on top of screenings, there are special introductions, talks and debates given by leading architects, film makers, writers and journalists, with a focus on architecture, urban planning and globalization.

“City Visions celebrates the freedoms and energy of the city and reveals memorable images of urban decay and deprivation.”

Among the highlights…

SEPTEMBER 26:

  • A live debate with writer and historian Leo Hollis, urban designer Alastair Donald, a transport and cities commentator and others discussing the various lures and perils of the urban experience: Are Cities Good for Us?
  • Ecopolis China introduced by London based architectural and design journalist Herbert Wright:

Finnish engineer and writer Eero Paloheimo feels that democracy responds too slowly to solve the crisis facing the world. When one billion rural Chinese move to cities, our planet will change irreversibly. Now, Palohheimo has come to believe China might well have a pioneering role in securing the future of mankind.

  • Jia Zhangke’s bloody and bitter film A Touch of Sin builds a portrait of a rapidly expanding China, while in People’s Park Libbie D. Cohn takes us on a single-shot journey through a bustling urban park in Chengdu city.

SEPTEMBER 28:

  • Short film by Palestinian film-maker Sobhi al Zobaidi, Looking Awry:

A Palestinian filmmaker is commissioned by an American organisation to make a documentary depicting Jerusalem as a city of peace and coexistence. But things don’t go quite as planned.

SEPTEMBER 29:

  • Lagos Wide and Close – An Interactive Journey Into An Exploding City: architect Rem Koolhaas and filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak study the Nigerian megalopolis in an attempt to understand the hidden logic that makes a ‘dysfunctional’ city work.

OCTOBER 1:

  • Ekumenopolis: City Without Limits with special introduction by Istanbul based journalist Constanze Letsch:

Already one of the world’s largest metropolises, Istanbul is an exemplary case of rampant urbanisation. With striking visuals, personal stories of uprooted families and interviews with politicians, developers and architects, this is a fascinating documentary about neo-liberal urbanism. 

OCTOBER 2:

  • A screening of the late Michael Glawogger’s extraordinary portrait of people living in four gigantic urban agglomerations: Megacities – Twelve Stories of Survival.

OCTOBER 3:

  • Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia introduced by Detroit-based journalist Rose Hackman:

Once a grand symbol of American industry and culture, Detroit now teeters on the brink of dissolution. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, this film captures those left behind who refuse to abandon hope. 

OCTOBER 6:

  • Highrise:

What does it mean to be an urban species in the 21st century? From Bangalore to Beirut, São Paolo to Chicago, Highrise is an Emmy Award-winning, multimedia, collaborative documentary experiment which explores vertical living around the world. 

Full press release:

http://www.barbican.org.uk/news/artformnews/film/city-visions-a-season-of-films-t

Listings and booking:

http://www.barbican.org.uk/film/series.asp?id=1349&show=listing

City Visions: A season of films, talks and debates exploring modern cities around the world
Barbican Cinema, Barbican Centre, UK
barbican.org.uk/film
Box Office 0845 120 7527
Thu 25 Sep – Wed 8 Oct 2014
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This entry was posted on September 18, 2014 by in Architecture & Urban Design, Festivals and tagged , , , , .

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