Reply to cmmartingreenspun.com : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread
To CMMartin: Thanks for your kind comments. You certainly have a unique angle on the way you view Aeon Flux: the architectural method. I admire the work of Sant' Elia, as well as the work of the Italian futurist movement in general. For a while as a student, my favorite painter was Umberto Boccioni.
I'm not a student of architecture, though I've long had a layman's interest in it. I'd not heard of either Mendelsohn or Scharoun. I've just looked them up briefly, and I guess I can see why you'd think they were influences. Starting with the second season of LTV shorts, I worked with the very talented Tom McClure on the architectural design of Aeon Flux. Tom has a background in architecture and is probably the source of those references. There was a very concerted effort to distinguish the architectural styles of Bregna and Monica. The Breen architecture is stark and monumental, the result of large scale public projects, planned by a strong central government. Monican architecture is highly individualized, small-scale, and laid out haphazardly, reflecting the anarchic spirit of its citizenry.
As for the designs in Alexander, I'd mention Gaudi for the buildings of Pella and Babylon and Tadao Ando for the city of Alexandria. Again, I played with the contrast between rigorously geometrical and freely organic.
Over the years, architects whose work I've drawn inspiration from are F. L. Wright, Paul Rudolph, I. M. Pei, and the set designer Ken Adam. My current favorite is Carlo Scarpa, though I've only discovered his work in the last several years.
I've always preferred to set my stories in man-made settings because buildings always reflect the psychology of the architect, and therefore constitute a "loaded" environment. All of my most vivid dreams involve architecture, and those are what I draw the most inspiration from.
For an example of one of the best uses of architecture in film, I'd suggest Jacques Tati's "Playtime".
-- Peter Chung (email@example.com), June 05, 2000
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to respond! I've seen 'Playtime', and I understand what you mean about architecture's psychological element. Tati uses international style architecture to express an ironic commentary on technological progress - I think the architecture of Aeon Flux performs a similar task by parodying the kind of elaborate architecture typical of action-adventure movies. Ever since 'Die Hard' the American public has been wondering if all ventilation ducts are large enough to crawl through - the secret shafts and airspaces of Aeon's world are so elaborate one wonders why anyone would bother using the hallway.
As a postscript - my favorite architectural feature in Aeon Flux... While the austere majesty of Goodchild Tower is a close second, I am totally in awe of the harbor facility in Tide. The completely mundane elements of elevator, staircase, and closet are thrown together, given meaning by the people and objects inhabiting them. At the same time, these static elements are the driving force of the action - the characters act as they do because of the irreversible movement of the elevator and their desperate need to open the closet. The characters provide the reason for the setting's existence, and for a few minutes, at least, the reverse is also true.
Forgive me for rambling on, and thanks again for writing back!
-- Charles Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 05, 2000.
Hey, Martin, ever see Metropolis? Great for architecure. Don't see the old one, see the remake with Georgio Moroder's music score. Freddy Mercury singing "Love kills" is really fabulous. Interior's are art deco.
-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), June 08, 2000.