‘(500) Days’ of architecture


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‘(500) Days of Summer’ has been rightly described as a movie fascinated by, even obsessed with, architecture. But the film’s perspective on architecture -- and on the skyline of downtown Los Angeles in particular -- is severely, intriguingly limited.

You’ll have to look very hard to see any buildings constructed after about 1950. That means no Frank Gehry, no Thom Mayne, no Rafael Moneo -- and also no A.C. Martin or Welton Becket, architects celebrated for shaping the post-war look of downtown.


Why the focus on old, under-appreciated downtown buildings? Surprisingly enough, it has something to do with the film’s allegiance to a certain strand of emo culture -- to a finely honed sense of taste both specific and wide enough to honor ‘The Graduate,’ Regina Spektor, the Smiths and the Bradbury Building.

Read my critic’s notebook in Friday’s Calendar section or click here.

-- Christopher Hawthorne