‘(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.
-- Christopher Hawthorne