- Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1961 masterpiece L’Eclisse is not playing at the Architecture & Design Film Festival.
Starting on Thursday and continuing through Monday, the Music Box will host the Architecture & Design Film Festival, an annual program of design-related documentaries. Don’t go. I’ve watched four of the 15 feature-length selections, and none contained an image awesome enough to evoke a festival—or, for that matter, a film. Three of them—Incessant Visions, about the German architect Erich Mendelsohn; Unfinished Spaces, about Cuba’s National Schools of Art; and Pool Party, about Brooklyn’s giant McCaren Pool—were mildly engaging in an informative, PBS sort of way, yet they were interchangeable in terms of filmmaking (the less said about the glorified slide show Architect: A Chamber Opera in Six Scenes the better). Each shifted mechanically between old photographs of buildings, interviews with architects and historians (usually sitting in front of their bookshelves, which makes them look smart, I suppose), and handheld shots of people touring the architectural subjects. It’s possible there’s better filmmaking on display in the movies I didn’t watch; but the samples I saw didn’t instill much faith in this festival’s selection process.