Mock-Ups in Close-Up. Architectural Models in Film 1919-2019

current movie project,
Gabu Heindl and Drehli Robnik

Mock-Ups in Close-Up is a comprehensive overview­ of one of the least-explored territories in the relationship between architecture and cinema. In the premiere version 97 different scenes (excerpted from films produced between 1927 and 2007), all including architectural models, are collated to become in themselves a 102-minute movie.

Although it contains some obvious classics, such as King Vidor’s The Fountainhead [1948] and Peter Greenaway’s Belly of an Architect [1987], this compilation does not primarily deal with “films about architecture”. Rather, it offers a section through an all-inclusive film history which, in the project’s re-writing, appears to be obsessed with showing models in a variety of contexts: be it on the fringes or in the center of a scene, models pop up in love stories, thrillers, psychological dramas, comedies or sci-fi.

The films compiled include arthouse and blockbuster fare, “auteur cinema” as well as contributions to film franchises such as Dr. Mabuse, James Bond, Dirty Harry, Death Wish, Indiana Jones, Robocop, Austin Powers and X-Men cycles. The list of filmmakers who could not resist to either pan over or to focus on architectural models includes Fritz Lang, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, Ben Stiller, the Farrelly Brothers, and Wes Anderson.

Screenings, a.o.:

– Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, USA
– Lenguajes Filmicos, Sevilla, Spain
– Filmmuseum München, Germany
– Cristina Enea: Centro de Recursos Medio Ambientales, San Sebastian, Spain
– Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, China

NECS-Konference “Urban Mediations”, Istanbul, Turkey
– Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Vienna, Austria

– Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Germany

– Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria
– Architekturtage 2012, Vienna, Austria
– “The Architectural Model – Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia”, DAM Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

– Institut für Europäische Kulturgeschichte, Ruprechts Karsl-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
– Ooga Booga, Los Angeles, USA
– The Architecture Foundation, London, UK
– H-ArtHist at MIES 1:1-Modell auf dem Egelsberg, Krefeld, Germany

– Toronto Society of Architects, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Toronto, Canada
– “What Models Can Do”, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Siegen, Germany
– Biennale Architettura 2014, Venice, Italy
– School of Art and Design Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland
– Apollo Cinema, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany

– Vorführung und Seminar, “Europäische Medienwissenschaft”, Universität Potsdam (Institut für Künste und Medien), Germany

– Tieranatomisches Theater der Humbold-Universität, Berlin, Germany

Gabu Heindl, Drehli Robnik

ongoing since 2007