Supposedly, the main interest of Architects in film, and its relation to architecture, is that a film is made of scenes moving in space expressing content; an intentional content. This content has a structure and is being conveyed through a form. Film is constructed through a process that involves very much a similar process to that of architecture, in being an industry and being a cultural product. But the most important connection there is between film and architecture is the movement of the camera within a space, which is much the same to the movement of humans within a space.
This is also not very unrelated to Husserl’s phenomenological concept of intention in the consciousness of man, and how man perceives an object through a reflection that expresses an intention/essence. The movement of the camera within a space and how its scenes are composed is something that film authors are consciously enacting to reflect an intention, also, that is a reflection of an essence (nostalgia, confusion, resistance, etc). How our consciousness works is very much the same. We perceive through intentional cameras that are our minds and our eyes, reflecting intentional essences that vary from one human to another according to their view of the world. In this sense, the process of architecture-making is not very much different from film-making. It can be also utilized in being a reflection of a certain scenario that is happening within a space, with all its attached experiential and cultural components of identity, emotions, experiences and so on so forth. A film camera can accelerate its motion to manifest a time lapse, zoom in and out to highlight details; it can prolong or shorten time, or even disorder scenes in order to relay a fragmentation, revealing a certain essence. Architecture has other elements, other tools and techniques. It can also try to reflect an essence expressed in a movie, instead of doing it on its own, utilizing similar structures and effects used by a film director.
Architecture and movies do influence each other rather mutually. It’s only that films can be richer in an instantaneous intensification of content, while architecture can be very prolonged in its influence and very flexible to the appropriation of the human behavior. The film can also be subject of appropriation as well as prolonged influence. But it remains in the scope of a box, or of a cinema; of eyes, of imagination. It, itself, doesn’t change even if our perceptions of it varied; whereas architecture is experienced through a wider and more real set of elements, which can be directly experienced in reality on an everyday basis. It doesn’t have the intensification that film does in a 120 minute event, but it has a longer duration of influence. This is where the industry understands that it is very valuable, economically, and that it cannot be subject to as much experimentation as film is. If the force of the industry disappears, I do not find it difficult to imagine a population that each dweller would wish for themselves a very different dwelling than their neighbor, which express them dynamically. But then wish for that when you have solved the problem of hunger in the world, or shelter, before starting to envision a special one! This is as concerns to experimentation in architecture in contrast with experimentation in film.
On another note…
Carlos Dall’Asta said that residences are not subject to experimentation. I don’t think that it is true that people prefer stability in their residences… in the experience within the residence, yes, but not in the residence itself. I can even imagine pre-industrial societies each living in their own unique dwelling that expresses them better, and that the industrious elements that would prevail as norm would only be structural elements (that depend on technology in construction and pre-established techniques), that respond to an ultra-human necessity: to defy gravity and build sound and durable constructions. Yes, architecture definitely has a dual nature: that of containing an interior, and that of exhibiting an exterior that is part of a collective system; this collective system is the city or the village or the settlement where it belongs.
Yi Fu Tuan wrote about the experiences of place and space and their relation to fixity and movement, stability and change. Change here is quoted in the sense of being a venture towards the unknown, the unfamiliar. In many cases, the interior, even of a public space, can be an element of stability that incorporates familiar elements, with familiar colors and intimate landmarks. But… I can seriously see no reason why this should be applied to the exterior face of architecture as well. If we take the extreme case of need for stability, the home, we will find that whatever this home looks like from outside, it will always feel home, because of how it is (as a shelter), and how it performs (as a dwelling). There is not much in its exterior that could manifest its intimacy. Rather, it would be more intimate as much as it expresses its owner, like certain music expresses and indentifies its listener. Here you are, returning to a home that looks and thinks like you. What a city that would be?
This is actually happening, if you see the difference in built environments between different cultures and classes (different neighborhoods of Cairo, or New Mexico for example). But in this globalized world of today, houses in Egypt are planned after American suburbs, built with Chinese tools, finished in a Greek style depending very much on the availability of construction material and techniques that are almost always imported from abroad! What identity does that express? How stable or intimate is that? But what the hell… the people work so hard to afford their houses and they live in it with content, feeling very much stable and at home.