Friday, January 23, 2009

Wrightian Dystopia

Imagine my surprise when re-viewing the film Gattaca recently to notice that Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center was used in the movie as the headquarters of the Gattaca Corporation. The distinctive, Space-age forms of the building--circles, semicircles and lozenge shapes--figure prominently in many shots in the film, echoing forms introduced in the narrative: planets and moons, egg cells, and the double helix of human DNA. I think Wright's rather impersonal, mannered building provides the perfect spatial atmosphere for this tale of police-state genetic profiling and discrimination.


More familiar to many in the overlapping realms of Wright and Science Fiction fandom is detective Rick Deckard's apartment in Ridley Scott's modern classic, Blade Runner - aka the Ennis House, Los Angeles. To supplement this textile block house's role as neo-noir flat, the film's production team made fibreglass tiles using the same geometric motif found in the concrete blocks; some of these faux textile blocks remain in the house today.


Wright enjoyed movies in general, though it's anyone's guess what he would have thought of his buildings used as backdrops for such tales of futuristic dystopia.

3 comments:

Reuben Polder said...

Will these movies be shown on the holopro wall soon?

Eric said...

The Rocketeer, hands down.

EJF said...

Reuben: could be...I've like to do a film series in general...