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Opinion

What To Watch: Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival

Five must-see films selected by our Director Kim Paton

If you’re anything like us, you are quick to pour through the programme of the Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival as soon as it's announced. With the festival now showing in Tāmaki Makaurau, and coming soon to cinemas across the motu, we’re sharing five ‘must-see’ films selected by our Director Kim Paton. 

This years festival is brought to you by Rialto Cinemas & Art Department, as well as the Festival’s lead sponsor (and friend of Objectspace!) Resene.

View the full festival programme here.

MAIJA ISOLA, MASTER OF COLOUR AND FORM
Directed by Leena Kilpeläinen

Finnish artist Maija Isola began her long and remarkable career in 1949 as a textile designer at Printex, a home furnishings and fashion company which preceeded Marimekko. Over 38 years, she designed more than 500 fabric patterns, covering an amazingly diverse range of motifs and design techniques.

Drawing inspiration from traditional folk art, modern visual art, nature and countless trips around the world, Isola’s most well-known pattern is the Unikko pattern, created after the founder of Marimekko had announced that no floral fabrics are to be designed at the company. Isola did not accept rules or restrictions and designed in protest a complete collection of bold floral patterns.

The documentary film Maija Isola Master of Colour and Form travels in the footsteps of the dynamic artist through a series

Presented by Georgia Jay.

GRETHE MEYER: THE QUEEN OF DANISH DESIGN
Directed by Isabel Bernadette Brammer

Grethe Meyer is one of the great figures of Danish design, but perhaps also one of the most overlooked. As an architect and designer, Meyer left us with functional designs for the home, including dinnerware and cutlery, that are still of great importance today.

This hybrid documentary tells her story as a woman, artist, pioneer, mother and lover via an interesting and vulnerable narrative that puts her career, success and legacy into perspective.

Presented by Baina.

MAU
Directed by Benjamin & Jono Bergmann

From Mecca to Coca Cola, this documentary explores the untold story of design visionary and the absolutely charismatic Bruce Mau.

Revealing his unlikely rise in the creative world, and ever-optimistic push to tackle the world’s biggest problems with design, this first-ever, feature- length documentary tells the story of his incredible career and his most important project yet: his own life.

Mau is a hopeful film that will make you rethink how you see the future.

Presented by Lamp Light Books.

Art Lover’s Film Night Presented by Auckland Art Gallery Members.

SHELTER WITHOUT SHELTER
Directed by Mark E. Breeze

Shelter without Shelter explores the hopes and challenges involved in providing temporary housing for refugees. Filmed over three years, this six-part documentary investigates how forced migrants from Syria were sheltered across Europe and the Middle East, ending up in mega-camps, city squats, occupied airports, illegal settlements, requisitioned buildings, flat-pack structures, and enormous architect-designed reception centres.

Containing perspectives from humanitarians who created these shelters as well as the critics who campaigned against them, the documentary reveals the complex dilemmas involved in attempts to house refugees in emergency conditions.

SYMPHONY OF THE URSUS FACTORY
Directed by Jaśmina Wójcik

The Ursus factory once covered 170 hectares and employed 20,000 workers, producing 100 tractors a day. Now, its buildings stand derelict and empty; half have already been demolished by investors with new plans.

The symphony of mechanical sounds and gestures that is gradually built up throughout the film is produced by former factory employees. Proud of their factory, they reminisce about the huge numbers of people and the parties they had. They were a community, passionate about supporting agriculture through their factory. The Ursus tractor was well-known, not only in Poland but throughout the world.

Director Jaśmina Wójcik worked with this group for nine months. She does not permit nostalgia, but offers a glimpse of an era we can no longer imagine.

Images and film descriptions courtesy of  Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival.

Still of Grethe Meyer: The Queen of Danish Design

Still of Maija Isola: Master of Colour and Form

Still of Mau

Still of Shelter Without Shelter

Still of Symphony of the Ursus Factory