Anthony Vidler The Architectural Uncanny Essays

Throughout the history of film, we have seen a change in the ways in which architecture is used, portrayed and represented in film: from the scale models of the 1920s, through to actual sets, rendered backdrops, and now to complete green screen filming.

This term we will view films with a focus on the creation of the set, and the varying impacts of these sets in the end result of the film.

More specifically we will be looking to define Masahiro Mori's notion of "The Uncanny Valley" as it relates to the creation of the architecture and setting for films.

Mori's theory specifically focussed on feelings arising from the almost human representations in robots and androids. How does this theory relate to the use of scale models, painted sets, backdrops, computer generated architecture, greenscreening and combined methods, when they are used to represent "real space" in film?

The term “displaced” is especially spectral and deconstructive—to “displace” means both “to move from its rightful place” and “to take over the position of.” In this way, the term “displaced” (and the doubly spectral status of “internally displaced”) hints at the work of the uncanny within refugee status—refugees are literally both homely and unhomely, deconstructing political and legal boundary, existing simultaneously inside and outside state power.

One politically ghostly aspect of refugee status specific to Palestinian refugees is the “right of return,” which Palestinians claim in resistance to Israel’s occupation. The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza. The author then investigates how the space takes an active role in determining the narrative.The final part of the essay considers Anthony Vidler's concept of the architectural uncanny.There are many examples that unpack the intersections of architecture and the uncanny.One of the most recent and politically charged can be found in the Palestinian refugee camps, particularly those within the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank.Currently, the world contains an estimated 5 million Palestinian refugees, with around 1 million of this number living in Gaza and the West Bank.Politically, refugees occupy a threshold space of multiple legal dimensions. The second part considers the architectural process and how this relates to the use of architectural fantasy in animation film. In this chapter Suzanne Buchan describes some examples of animation film's particular "bending" or manipulation of architectural space and contrast this to our experience of space in architectural set design in live-action cinema. Vitruvius claimed architecture was composed of the triple essence: strength, utility, and aesthetic effect.Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) quaintly changed this to, 'commodity, firmness and delight.' It would be safe to say that the majority of architecture that has been created to date has attempted to follow this dictate.


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