Chair Times. A History of Seating

Cinema and Design at Milano Design Film Festival 2019

Milano Design Film Festival will be back with a new edition, from 24 to 27 October, at Anteo Palazzo del Cinema

Anteo Palazzo del Cinema. Ph: Giulia Virgara

MDFF, acronym of Milano Design Film Festival, will be back from 24 to 27 October at Anteo Palazzo del Cinema. The palimpsest of this festival dedicated to cinema and design enthusiasts includes several films and talks with prominent figures, dealing with design and moviemaking. The main theme of this edition is Mind The Gap: conceived by curators Antonella Dedini, Silvia Robertazzi and Porzia Bergamasco, it invites us to reflect on the changes undergone by man in the digital era, the interaction between people and our perception of what is around us, distorted by an increasingly cybernetic reality.

Antonella Dedini, Silvia Robertazzi. Ph: Tony Meneguzzo

Alice Rawsthorn is the Guest Curator of MDFF 2019

Alice Rawsthorn. Ph: Michael Leckie

Alice Rawsthorn, world-renowned British design journalist, is the Guest Curator of the seventh edition of MDFF. She will present Design as an attitude, a program of ten films answering the question What does it take to make a ‘design film’?

A film can be defined as a design film when it directly approaches the topic, but also when stories with a different subject show how design affects our lives. It is also possible to define it as such because of the way it was conceived, filmed and edited.

Milano Design Film Festival 2019: the themes

Milano Design Film Festival 2019 will open with The Human Shelter, by Boris Benjamin Bertram. The Danish director guides the viewer to discover what people define as home. An office, a hut, a tiny apartment. Bertram shows how the idea of ‘shelter’ changes depending on the circumstances, describing it from a geographical, social and political point of view, and analyzing people’s relationship with it.

The Human Shelter

MDFF 2019 will also host a section dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, featuring films such as The Truth about Killer Robots, where engineers and intellectuals analyze the situations where man is a victim of robotics, showing how it may become a threat to mankind, if unrestrained. The Art Of Thinking section presents a selection of experimental films, not related to the world of design, including Fredrik Gertten’s Push, winner of the Politiken Audience Award 2019.

The Truth About Killer Robots

Also this year there will be autobiographical films such as City Dreamers by Joseph Hillel, Bauhaus Women by Gregor Schnitzler, Harry Seidler: Modernist by Daryl Delora.

City Dreamers

The opening night of MDFF 2019 will be dedicated to design (23 October upon invitation, at Triennale Milano Teatro). Guests will be able to watch the Italian premiere of Chair Times. A History of Seating, by Heinz Butler. The film, resulting from the collaboration with Vitra Design Museum through Rolf Fehlbaum’s chair collection, illustrates the evolution of industrial products, the protagonists and the avant-gardes that have made the history of design. Before the screening, Rolf Fehlbaum and Stefano Boeri, President of La Triennale di Milano, will hold a conference, in the presence of Giuseppe Sala, major of Milan, and Alice Rawsthorn.

Chair Times. A History of Seating
Chair Times. A History of Seating

Among design and architecture films, we can mention Doors_Lualdi Stories, a documentary about Lualdi, a company born in 1860 with the opening of the family-run artistic carpenter’s shop. A small artisanal business that, thanks to sacrifice, passion and continuous research, has become a big enterprise. Latte e Caffè by Antonello Materazzo is dedicated to works by architect Riccardo Dalisi and studio Design Italy, which promotes Made in Italy production abroad.

Lualdi Porte’s historical catalogue

There will also be premieres dedicated to architecture: Architecture of Infinity, by Christoph Schaub, deals with spirituality in art and architecture; The Real Thing, by Benoit Felici, illustrates the replica as one of the most ancient practices.

The new features of this edition: new sections and awards

This year, for the first time ever, AFA-Architecture Film Award, a new biennial appointment, will evaluate and award the best films dedicated to the different branches of architecture – from urban planning to landscape architecture, to private projects. AFA has been established to encourage the production of films dedicated to design as a new communication tool for architects.

This edition will also feature the Bloom section. Curated by writer, botanist and landscape architect Antonio Perazzi, it illustrates the relationship between man and nature. Among the films in this section, we can mention award-winning In Between Mountains and Oceans, by Masaaki Miyazawa.

Meetings and talks with Italian and international film directors, architects and designers

On 24 October, at 10 am, Michele de Lucchi will present his project Earth Stations.

Architect Giulio Ceppi, on 25 October, at 3 pm, will illustrate the, sometimes unexpected, connection between art and advertising, showing the results of some workshops he held in female and male prisons. The same day, at 4:30 pm, architects Umberto Zanetti and Alessandro De Magistris will introduce Palace for the People by Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov. This film shows how architecture acted as a form of power in the second half of the 20th century.

Mario Botta, on 26 October, at 2 pm, will present the theme of religious architecture, which is the subject of Mario Botta. Oltre lo spazio.

Poster of the film Mario Botta. Oltre lo spazio

Among the guests, there will also be director Peter Greenaway with a lecture-show about Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and a film titled The Missing Nail. A Vision by Peter Greenaway for Cassina on Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Greenaway will meet writer Gianluigi Ricuperati to discuss the influence of architecture on his films.

MDFF will offer the chance to watch “Le radici e le ali” (The roots and the wings), a film by Michele Ferrari about designer Antonio Aricò

MDFF celebrates the 40th anniversary of the twinning between Milan and Shanghai

Discussion panels and film screenings about the two cities will highlight their similarities and differences. There will be guests such as Professor Shaonong Wei, Dean of the School of Design of the East China Normal University in Shanghai, who will recount interesting facts about this Chinese metropolis.

For the complete program of Milano Design Film Festival 2019 click here [Text Carlotta Russo]

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