2nd Annual ArCH Film Festival

Dozens of local groups have seen their passions portrayed cinematically this year. The Aurora Picture Show’s Extremely Shorts Film Festival made much ado about film shorts. QFest explored issues dear to the LGBTQ community. And the REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, for children (or the child in you), has screened kids’ flicks from around the world. Now architects get their turn with the 2nd Annual ArCh Film Festival, sponsored by the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The festival’s four films come together to reveal a theme about the interplay of architecture and urban living. Director Chad Freid-richs’s The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (2011) tells a story of the rise and rapid dilapidation of the Pruitt-Igoe urban housing project in St. Louis. Constructed in 1954 and built as a “city of the future,” Pruitt-Igoe included 33 high-rise buildings. It quickly deteriorated and was demolished just 20 years later. Freidrichs explores the forces at work in its demise.

My Playground (2010) is an around-the-world tale of parkour and free-running participants and the urban environments they play in. Radiant City (2006), half documentary and half satire, mocks suburbia through the eyes of a family that has left the city for greener pastures. Urbanized (2011), the third in Gary Hustwit’s series about design (Helvetica and Objectified), is a documentary about the design process used in buildings and the long-reaching impact of the finished structures.

See The Pruitt-Igoe Myth at 7 p.m. on Thursday, My Playground and Radiant City screen on Friday and Urbanized will be shown Saturday. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol. For information, visit www.-aiahouston.org. Free to $20.
Aug. 16-18, 2012

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