ruminations about architecture and design

Monday, December 16, 2013

meanwhile, back in middle earth

Just saw the second installment of the Hobbit movie today and I'm a bit grumpy. While I appreciate the effort that goes into the visual effects of today's movies, I'm getting irritated by the insanity of the architecture. There's no logic to how the buildings go together--everything is just a profusion of staircases, towers, and deep pits that orcs are constantly falling into. The sets don't seem to advance the story, they just exist to serve as backdrops for elaborate, drawn out fight scenes.

I know that towers of ilium is old-fashioned, but many modern movies would be better served by less computerized clutter. The Avengers movie did a decent job of using the sets as a framing device for the storyline. The Lord of the Rings also did a good job with its sets--grand halls, simple halls, evil towers, the lovely warmth of Bag End, and a structural realism that helped the characters instead of getting in the way.

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