Have fun, explore/tour, change

Film is the most egalitarian of all arts. Architecture is the one that constantly surrounds us and which we experience the most. Both cinema and architecture are inextricably linked with the city. They witness its development and progress. We started with platitudes, yet, there are situations when it makes sense to remind something obvious - repeating the well-known spell. The idea of the Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture starting from the first, inaugural edition always left room for a film section. Cinema serves here as a tool to familiarize a wider audience with architecture. The aim is to educate and, using a film image, introduce the subject of architecture into a wide notion of urban popular culture.

Thinking about this year's, fourth edition, we decided to concentrate on various aspects of architecture explored in films. We would like to indicate the value of space creation, the relation between the building structure, its functionality and its user. In order to do so we will present both feature films and documentaries, as well as accompanying events (parkour show in the cinema, debate on the Wrocław Market, meeting dedicated to promotion of cities through films production).

The main theme of this year's festival is "City in motion". The expression is extremely “roomy” in terms of interpretations. What immediately comes to one’s mind is an individual and collective transportation as well as expansion and reconstruction of the city. It should be kept in mind that the city is a dynamic, constantly undergoing transformations organism. Living in an urban environment is linked with one’s ability to use various forms shaping the city, constantly giving it a new, individual meaning. And such is the case in the two documentaries which will open the film section. "My Playground " shows us the secrets of a new form of art, so called parkour, originated in France, a type of physical activity in which one uses the city infrastructure to quickly move around the city. Parkour and a closely related to it free running show new possibilities of urban architecture. The characters of the film, people coming from different parts of the world explore the city, treating it like a big playground. The projection will be organized in a cooperation with the Parkour Wrocław sports club, which will prepare a special presentation for the festival’s audience in the New Horizons cinema. After the projection, the group members will answer viewers questions. In the Oscar-winning "Man on wire" by James Marsh we will present a story of a French tightrope walker Phillippe Petit, who exactly 40 years ago walked on a rope between the two towers of non-existing anymore, completed in 1973, World Trade Centre.

Tragically destroyed on 11 September 2001 the WTC building will accompany us during the closing projection of the film section. Americans are rebuilding the offices complex. One World Trade Centre, numbering 105 floors and 541.3 meters tall has been already set operational. In the coming years another three skyscrapers will arise. The impact of the attack on the World Trade Centre, a symbol of American power, has had on the entire United States of America is well presented in a great documentary "16 acres". The filmmakers and writers over years played with the New York building, making it an object of terrorists’ interest. The British Parliament building has also become an object of a film destruction. The thing took place in "V for Vendetta".

One could also say that un urban destruction is also the topic of "The Venice Syndrome". What supports the thesis is testimony of the residents of this city visited on daily basis by a number of tourists which is actually similar to the number of inhabitants. The city is full of attractions, but the living conditions are not good while the cost of living is very high. Which proves that the dominating approach is still that of “tourism being leverage of trade”. Another interesting example is Bruges. The Belgian city, due to a number of channels in the historic part called "Flemish Venice", has been appropriately promoted in recent years thanks to the movie "In Bruges". A criminal comedy with Colin Farrell is one of the most successful cases of city placement. After this projection we will tackle the issue of promotional dimension of cities being present in films during a meeting with invited guests. Mass tourism and a commercialization of space as result of this phenomenon will be a starting point to a debate, organized within the project "MIASTOmovie", about functionality of the Market Square.

We would like to welcome you to the New Horizons Cinema for a four-day film section and accompanying events. Let's move in order to better understand the contemporary city!

Lech Moliński, Magdalena Przewłocka

Wrocław Film Foundation