Addition: A lair in the California desert that looks a bit sci-fi. It doesn’t get much more modern than that.
Wouldn’t you still rather have Monticello?
‘We all know that psychopaths prefer contemporary design. Hollywood has told us so for decades. The classic film connection between minimal interiors and emotional detachment (see: any Bond adversary) or modern buildings and subversive values is well documented – and regrettable. The modernist philosophy of getting to the essence of a building was intended to be liberating and enriching for the lives of occupants. Hardly fair then that these buildings are routinely portrayed with villainous associations.’
Have you seen the Mt. Rushmore house at the end of North By Northwest? I suspect some among us have wanted to live in a modernist lair.
From an article in Der Spiegel on the Bauhaus, where modernism got its start:
‘The real feat achieved by Gropius and his cohorts was to have recognized and exposed the sociopolitical and moral power of architecture and design. They wanted to exert “effective influence” on “general conditions,” fashion a more just world and turn all of this into a “vital concern of the entire people.”‘
I’m always a little skeptical of such grand visions. Utopianism runs deep.
Speaking of cinema, this blog hasn’t given up on searching for awesome badness, preferably 80’s awesome badness. I simply offer the following scene from Gymkata, which encapsulates good and evil, gymnastics and karate, foreign policy and an American national greatness since sunken into ironic detachment and doubt:
–Want to lose an afternoon? Visit Lileks.com. A fine humorist with a sharp pen and a keen eye. This is what the internet is for.
Related On This Site: They designed a city in the heart of Brazil that really doesn’t work for people: Brasilia: A Planned City
No thanks to living in planned communities upon someone else’s overall vision.: Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?…Repost-Via Reason: ‘Salvador Allende’s Cybersocialist Command Center’…From Grist.Org Via The New Republic Via The A & L Daily: ‘Getting Past “Ruin Porn” In Detroit’…
A structure in the desert…not even a city Update On LACMA, Michael Heizer And The ‘Levitated Mass’-Modern Art And The Public;..where is modernism headed? Via Youtube: Justin, The Horse That Could Paint…
Denis Dutton suggested art could head towards Darwin (and may offer new direction from the troubles of the modern art aimlessness and shallow depth…the money and the fame) Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’
Roger Scruton In The American Spectator: The New Humanism…From Nigel Warburton’s Site: A Definition of Humanism?…From The City Journal Via Arts And Letters Daily: Andre Glucksman On “The Postmodern Financial Crisis”
Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’ Classical Liberalism Via Friesian.Com-’Exchange with Tomaz Castello Branco on John Gray’
4 thoughts on “From Arch Daily Via Readers: ‘From Psychopath Lairs to Superhero Mansions: How Cinema and Modernist Architecture Called A Truce’”
Since she mentioned the movie Twilight (great house!), I feel justified in bringing up True Blood and the home of Russell Edgington. Constructed in the 1800s, “Longwood” doesn’t qualify as modern, but he was definitely a psychopath. I think older homes add atmosphere and suspense, more so than modern homes, but I guess it does depend on the villain, as well. Vampires could go either way. I’m babbling now. Interesting subject, Chris.
Thanks for stopping by.
I think those Victorian homes are seen as ‘spookier,’ like the one in Psycho, or somehow more psychologically and historically distant, which makes for easy villainy or haunted house stuff.
The author here’s concerned that somehow modern architecture has been co-opted by some moviemakers as reflections of a barren, cold, and twisted villain.
I’d say there’s some legitimacy in recognizing precisely what many critics of modern architecture have recognized, from the Bauhaus to Brasilia: The lofty abstractions and semi-utopian visions of some modernist architects don’t necessarily translate into comfortable and/or easy living.
It’s like they’re watching ants living in a colony.
Central planners and ideological utopians this past century have loved modernism as a result.
Thanks for bringing up Longwood, too. By all accounts, it’s a fascinating place:
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