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3 items from 2012

Brad Pitt turns master furniture designer – with discomfiting results

9 November 2012 5:20 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From squirming table legs to a swooping bed frame, the Hollywood superstar's foray into high-end furniture design has spiralled into something altogether ungainly

Brad Pitt is no stranger to the world of architecture. He has collaborated with Frank Gehry to build homes in New Orleans, dropped by the offices of Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, and has said he is "pushing his kids" to become architects. But now he has turned his hand to furniture design.

His first collection, which will be officially unveiled in New York next week, is a collaboration with furniture maker Frank Pollaro, whose New Jersey firm mainly produces slick art deco reproductions.

Comprising a number of tables and chairs, a double bath and a vast ocean liner of a bed, the pieces are a strange mishmash of Pitt's eclectic influences, which he says span everything from Arts and Crafts to Bauhaus and Tiffany lamps.

"I've been »

- Oliver Wainwright

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Memo to Venice Architecture Biennale: architecture before architect, per favore

30 August 2012 1:57 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As the filmic fare at Ole Scheeren's floating cinema illustrates, mixing design and documentary can be a bad move

For some reason, Venice's Architecture Biennale and its film festival open at the same time this year. Since the theme of the Biennale is "common ground", you'd expect some overlap between the two disciplines. They can work extremely well together – after direct experience, cinema is often the next best way to appraise architecture. But looking at the crossover here, it's also clear the combination can be terrible. Despite their collective creative qualities, architects and film-makers are often susceptible to complete loss of perspective when they get together.

Take the Archipelago Cinema, designed by German architect Ole Scheeren. This is a delightful pop-up floating cinema, a sort of split-level raft with bleached decking and casual beanbag seating. Scheeren made his name as project architect on Oma's much-publicised China Central Television (CCTV) building in Beijing, »

- Steve Rose

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Hollywood's love affair with the skyscraper

26 January 2012 2:55 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nine of the world's 10 tallest buildings are now in Asia – and Hollywood wants to jump off all of them

Aerial shots over Manhattan's forest of skyscrapers. Yellow cabs crawling like ants through the city grid. The hero stands on a ledge 20 floors up, provoking a street theatre of police cordons, firetrucks, news crews and onlookers. Meanwhile, in a top-floor office, a corporate villain admires an architectural model of another shiny skyscraper. Elsewhere, an acrobatic thief hangs precariously in an elevator shaft, dropping a spanner that goes clanging down innumerable storeys to the ground. The ominous ping of an approaching elevator spells danger. The hero and villain finally meet for a climactic rooftop showdown.

These scenes could be from a hundred Hollywood movies or more, but in fact they're from just one: Man on a Ledge, an enjoyably silly new thriller that at least sets out its stall in the title. »

- Steve Rose

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