ArchiStorie: a film festival of architectural films in Milan, May 13-27

From May 13 to 27, 'ArchiStorie,' a film festival of architectural films, is scheduled in Milan: three screenings of great masters.

Kicking off on Sunday, May 13, 2018 in Milan is the ArchiStorie film festival, the new series of screenings promoted by theSilvia dell’Orso Cultural Association and Anteo Palazzo del Cinema. For three Sundays, on May 13, 20 and 27, ArchiStorie will offer the public three screenings of as many films dealing with architecture: these are The Marvelous Fountain, The Sky Over Berlin and The Mysteries of Compton House Garden. All films chosen for their cinematic quality and ability to generate reflection on architecture, urbanism and landscape. The screenings will be introduced by architect Luca Molinari, lecturer in the history and theory of contemporary architecture at the University of Campania, as well as a contributor for several newspapers (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, L’Espresso, AD, Platform, Domus, Lotus, Abitare, Ottagono and others), and former director of NABA’s School of Design and scientific director of the architecture and urban planning sections of the Milan Triennale.

“King Vidor, Peter Greenaway and Wim Wenders are the three great directors chosen for their interpretation of a discipline that touches us very closely,” reads nthe presentation of the review. “ArchiStorie, in short, brings together without overlapping the language of film and science to allow the viewer to see and understand on the big screen the role and social and cultural impact of the architect, his projects and achievements in our lives and on the environment in which we live. The festival opens on May 13 with ’The Marvelous Fountain,’ a film that offers the cue for a reflection on modern architecture as faith and mission. A ’classic’ to (re)see to better understand the battle of values and culture waged by the modernist avant-garde along the century just past. Sunday, May 20, is the turn of ’The Sky Over Berlin. Suspension and emptiness as a form of design and understanding of the contemporary city. The festival closes on Sunday, May 27 with ’The Mysteries of Compton House Garden’ an opportunity to reason about perspective as a rule of the world.”

All screenings are scheduled at Anteo Palazzo del Cinema (via Milazzo 9, Milan), the cinema that has been offering quality films and reviews on its screens for more than 35 years: a cinema that moreover has recently been enlarged and renovated and is now a reality with eleven theaters, including an on-demand room and a restaurant room in collaboration with Eataly, as well as with an exhibition space, reading rooms, a film library, a literary café and a restaurant. Tickets to access the screenings cost 8 euros, reduced to 6 for cinema Anteo members and for members of the Silvia Dell’Orso Cultural Association, the Milanese association active in the popularization of cultural and historical-artistic heritage. It is also possible to subscribe to the three films at a cost of 15 euros. Reservations and ticket purchase at, while more information on the program is available on the Silvia Dell’Orso Association website.

Below are the plots of the three films:

The Marvelous Spring (by King Vidor, 1949, 114’) - Sunday, May 13, 10:30 a.m.
Howard Roark is an architect with futuristic ideas and unwilling to compromise to satisfy his clients. To make a living he must therefore adapt to manual labor. Called to New York, he finally sees his dream of building a skyscraper come true, but his project is violently attacked by billionaire Wynand, husband of Dominique, a girl with whom Howard was once in love.
Modern architecture as faith and mission. Howard Roark, a.k.a. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the masters of 20th-century architecture, is the symbol of the author who knows no mediation or compromise in order to see the ideal of modernity realized fully in the new world. A “classic” that reminds us of the battle of values and culture waged by the modernist avant-garde throughout the century just past.

The Sky Over Berlin (by Wim Wenders, 1987, 130’) - Sunday, May 20, 10:30 a.m.
Berlin, 1980s. Two angels called Damiel and Cassiel roam the city as entities: they are invisible and imperceptible by the population, watching Berliners and listening to the thoughts of passers-by, forced into the condition of being unable to interact with them. Their reason for living is not to perform the classic and stereotypical angel function, but rather to see, memorize and preserve reality. Damiel is the one whose condition weighs most heavily on him: he wishes he could become a man to perceive the meaning of matter and everyday life. One day the angel sees Marion, a beautiful trapeze artist, at the disco and falls in love with her.
Suspension and emptiness as a form of design and understanding of the contemporary city. Wim Wenders’ Berlin is a metropolis waiting for profound change, populated by emotions that become spaces and atmospheres to inhabit. Narrative that becomes epic.

The Mysteries of Compton House Garden (by Peter Greenaway, 1982, 108’) - Sunday, May 27, 10:30 a.m.
1694, English countryside. Mrs. Herbert, wife of a wealthy landowner, hires the successful landscaper Mr. Neville to execute twelve drawings of her own mansion at Compton House. She will make a gift of them to her husband when he returns from a two-week trip. To convince the painter, she inserts into the contract the clause that she will give herself to him at the end of each drawing. The painter sets to work, but disturbing objects appear in the landscape: blood-soaked tailcoats, torn shirts. All disturbing clues to a crime.
Perspective as a rule of the world, as an ordering gaze, as a form for constructing the landscape around us. The Mysteries of Compton House Gardenis a sophisticated narrative in which landscape, eros and design meet mediated by a vision that is changing profoundly under the axe of a social revolution that will sweep the world.

Pictured: a famous still from The Sky Over Berlin.

ArchiStorie: a film festival of architectural films in Milan, May 13-27
ArchiStorie: a film festival of architectural films in Milan, May 13-27

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