Monthly Archives: December 2012

Architecture now: Sky City and the era of the supertall towers

Out of scale? Taipei 101. 3rd tallest skyscraper in the world
Out of scale? Taipei 101. 3rd tallest skyscraper in the world

With the rapid growth of countries like China and the unparalleled success of Dubai as the tax-free haven of the Middle East, a new type of building has emerged over the last decade: the supertall tower.

The term, implemented by many professional periodicals and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, is little more than a fashionable one, separating skyscrapers in two categories: those that are between 100 to 300 meters (980 ft) from the less than 60 buildings that defy gravity and reach heights in excess of 300 meters.

Continue reading Architecture now: Sky City and the era of the supertall towers

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Film review: Life of Pi (2012)

life-of-pi

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Director: Ang Lee

Cast: Suraj Sharma (Teen Pi), Irrfan Khan (Adult Pi), Gautam Belur (Boy Pi), Rafe Spall (writer)

The arrival of 3D film-making has rarely rendered as satisfying a result as in Life of Pi, the very entertaining and visually exceptional film by Academy-Award winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain & Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

Though it is initially portrayed as a spiritual journey of sorts, Life of Pi is an excellent story of survival that is perhaps too interested in the details of the ordeal to fulfill its ambitious promise.

Continue reading Film review: Life of Pi (2012)

IMDB Top 250: Ran (1985)

Ran

Genre: Drama, Epic

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai (Hidetora), Akira Terau (Taro), Jinpachi Nezu (Jiro), Daisuke Ryu (Saburo), Mieko Harada (Lady Kaede).

In Akira Kurosawa’s impressive oeuvre, Ran is often described as his most epic and ambitious contribution to the art of film making. Inspired by the Shakespearean tale of King Lear, Ran is delivered with the discipline of a perfectionist, with the visual richness of a master craftsman and the obsessive attention to detail of a director who had conceived the idea about twenty years prior to the release of the film.

After a long and fertile film-making period that spanned from 1944 to 1955, which included gems like Ikiru (the ending of which was part of my best moments in film history special found here) and Seven Samurai, Kurosawa’s style had fallen out of fashion in Japan by the late 1960s. Once the pride of an entire nation, his films were considered conservative relics not to be reproduced. Beyond stylistic concerns, studio heads in Japan were particularly wary of Ran given its ambitious scope and how much it could potentially cost.

Continue reading IMDB Top 250: Ran (1985)