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Movie Nights

Fiona Mckay


The 2019 movie series was off to a roaring start, with a packed inaugural movie screening! We were back at the BFI Stephen street, and started with a screening of 'Objectified,' the third movie of the design trilogy which includes Helvetica & Urbanised, by Gary Hustwit.

Objectified is a feature-length documentary film examining the role of everyday non-living objects, and the people who design them, in our daily lives. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind the objects and the designers, who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.

Objectified encourages us to stop and notice our surroundings and to think critically about creativity and consumption. Many of our regular attendees had seen the previous two documentaries which we had screened in previous months, and were happy to complete the design trilogy. The documentary like other Gary Hustwit ones, was very well received, with a lively discussion and debate ensuing after the screening. Many thanks to all who attended, and for ushering in the 2019 screenings with such vigorous debate.


As the grey London winter rolled on, we were back to the BFI in March, to wind up our winter movie series, with a screening of ‘ Microtopia.’ In line with the current global debate on conservation of resources, this documentary presents dreams of life in small, mobile or temporary spaces. Several architects, builders and artists from different parts of the world propose a radical solution to living space, in which all unnecessary things are removed, and seemingly old and worn-out items are utilised.

Behind all this is a simple question: How much space, stuff and comfort do we really need?

The film explored how architects, artists and ordinary problem-solvers are pushing the limits to find answers to their dreams of portability, flexibility and of creating independence from the grid. .

The documentary generated some interesting debates, with some of the proposed housing solutions being positively received, and others dismissed outright. At least it generated a heated debate, bringing some warmth to an otherwise gloomy winter night. Many thanks to all who attended this final screening of the first segment of the 2019 movie series, and we look forward to welcoming all of you back to the BFI in the autumn for more screenings & debates!

Written by: Christopher Musangi, AIA

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