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Thread: Planners in movies

  1. #51
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    A few more planner films:

    Novaya Moskva

    "The Russian comedy film 'New Moscow' is barely known even in Russia; apparently it incurred the wrath of the commissars during its original screening in 1938, and was suppressed afterward. I'm amazed that it survived at all.

    Alyosha (played by Daniil Sagal, uncle of Peg Bundy!) is a Siberian farmboy who looks amazingly like the Bolshevik version of Li'l Abner. But Alyosha longs to be an architect and urban planner: accordingly, he has designed and built a model of a glorious utopian city which he calls 'Moscow Future': if only the commissars will listen to him, Moscow Future will become reality. (Among its other merits -- by communist standards -- this Moscow has no trace of Saint Basil's Cathedral nor any other church.)

    Alyosha schleps his model all the way to the real Moscow, where urban renewal is in progress. This is a source of dismay for Fedia (Pavel Sukhanov), a cityscape painter who can't finish any of his paintings ... because the old buildings are torn down and new ones erected more quickly than he can paint them. While Alyosha prepares his presentation, he falls in love with little blonde Zoya (Nina Alisova), who looks like a somewhat more modest and chaste Russian version of Daisy Mae Scragg.

    The high point of the film is when Alyosha activates his model city, and it almost magically seems to come to life. But this is a comedy, so the mechanism gets jammed in reverse. Alyosha is horrified as his midget Moscow actually begins to regress to its Czarist condition, with onion domes springing up and so forth."


    "Two friends in their thirties meet a woman in a bar. One man (Shibata, played by singer Koji Tamaki) makes a living as a real estate project planner. The other man (Anzai, played by TV personality and comedian Ishii La Salle) works at city hall as a city planner. The woman (Kiriko, played by Kaori Mizushima, director Nagasaki's wife) does not reveal very much about herself, but she is charming, bold and believes in UFOs. The three end up on the rooftop looking out for alien spaceships."

    Saw V will have a planner as a major character. I don't plan on seeing it.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #52
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Slightly Off-Center

    More Scripts

    For distribution fans:

    Ship of Fools

    A small midwest community, S. Wanton, has recently engaged a full-time distribution planner of 70's vintage to help them compete with their larger and more affluent neighbor, N. Wanton. The planner, Ursus DuNord, fantasizes about the perfect distribution center to bring an economic boom to the community.

    His fourth assistant, K.D., is a specialist in the reclamation of aging Wolverines who soon realizes that Ursus has become obsessed with his spreadsheet of distribution tasks that includes color coding the location of each of the inhabitants of N. Wanton.

    As the distribution center grows, it becomes apparent that the population of N. Wanton is beginning to decline at an alarming rate. Where are they going? Is there any relationship between the disappearances and the pallets of colorful packages being shipped to the Port of De Rock? Will Ursus’s fascination with the lovely and intoxicating Linda Loma be his downfall?

    Classic scene: Ursus at sunset on Lake Eerily with the MuniSingers performing "Sittin' on the De Rock of the Bay".

    See.....distribution types can be incorporated into film.

    Last edited by ofos; 09 Oct 2008 at 10:15 PM.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  3. #53
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005
    we just got done watching "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." they mention city planners. the line is something like, "A city planner would never put a playground next to a sewage plant."
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #54
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    we just got done watching "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." they mention city planners. the line is something like, "A city planner would never put a playground next to a sewage plant."
    The line is found at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800039/quotes
    I have heard that line said about civil engineering too.

  5. #55
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio

    Patiently Waiting

    This Bear (and perhaps some others) are patiently waiting for more script ideas or more references to planners in film.

    What say you?

    Come on people.....if you can swing traffic calming in that north side neighborhood near the line-up of big boxes, you can do some scripting.


  6. #56
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Feb 2007
    Playing at a movie theater near you

    Bump.. reviving this thread

    I was watching 30 rock on thursday night and they aired a promo for Amy Pohler's new show called "Parks and Recreation". It has a city planner in it, and the show is suppose to be a "mockumentary" of government and all its quirkiness. When i caught the preview i had to jump online and because i told myself, "no way did he not say that." It was a comment regarding the public. I am sure it is a comment many of use, including myself feel about the "public" at times. Check it out. Hopefully this show sticks around for a while.


    It is the first video, couldn't figure out how to embed the thing
    No Signature Required

  7. #57
    Cyburbian Plus
    May 2008
    North America
    Bear has already reviewed Breaking and Entering. I'll expound on Jude Law's role as a landscape architect.

    Snipped from http://land.asla.org/2007/0130/minghella.html:
    It’s a fact noted by critics (in other publications that would not likely draw accusations of a bias to the profession) that landscape architecture plays a significant role in the movie.

    The [Jude Law] character, Will Francis, works at the at a firm Green Effect. The firm’s notable project in the film is a large-scale plan in King’s Cross, a transit hub fallen into squalor which has become a redevelopment site of historical proportions while spurring gentrification.

    To better develop the identity of the [Jude] character and the firm, Anthony Minghella, who directed and wrote the screenplay for Breaking and Entering, wrote the following manifesto...
    . . .
    Keep in mind one atypical detail about landscape architect Will Francis: He hates flowers and plants and loves concrete.

    Green Effect Manifesto

    Green Effect is certainly not against nature, although we are accused of being against nature. Rather, we are against the fraudulent advocacy of nature, the misnaming of mediated space as natural, the mistaking of grass as nature, of green as nature. We are against decoration—the flowerbed, the plant, the lawn—those miniature gestures of appeasement which nature would not recognize. Nature is not tame, by definition, and there is no space in Britain or Europe that can be described without irony as natural. That a site is designated green space is already a gesture of control. It can be termed a national park or a wildlife sanctuary, its boundaries marked, its animal life monitored—Nature this way!

    What Green Effect advocates is hardly modern. Nash was designing both internal and external spaces in the nineteenth century. The Regent’s Canal, Regent Street, and Regents Park are all illustrations of a coherent arrangement of private and public environments—elegant terraces grouped around the park, with its inner and outer circles. Regent’s Park is made, of course, a construct no more or less natural than the curving rows of stucco buildings. The confident harmonies, which develop from this marriage of house and environment, have direct and positive impact on those who inhabit them. It’s great to walk in the park and look at the facades; it’s great to look at the park from inside the buildings. These values are self-evident. The same is true of the Italian Piazza; its grandest expressions—in San Marco in Venice, the Piazza Navona in Rome—without a blade of grass, are as architectural, as pleasing, as defining as any building, as communal as any park. They say something about a culture in the way as our endless verges, our muddy borders, our clumps of bamboos, forlorn trees, and concrete flower beds speak volumes about our current society and its lack of respect for what happens to our citizens when they leave their front doors travelling to the glass boxes of their offices. A glance at the budgets for enclosed spaces and exterior spaces indicate society’s true valuation of our constructed environments.

    Green Effect views the built landscape as an art, one which requires as much care as any structure and as much acknowledgement of design. We believe that there has to be more than a token recognition by architects that they contribute to an environment gestalt, that the choreography of bound and unbound space should be determined as a whole and not simply with the one determining the other—I’m here, fill in around me. Every large-scale urban project should employ landscape and building architects simultaneously, and Green Effect will only commit to projects where such a dynamic exists and where the possibility lies for the demands of landscape to genuinely effect the position and external characteristics of any structures. Where possible, Green Effect will design both. It will favor environment, it will insist that harmonies between the so-called male and female spaces have political impact, not least on crime but most of all, that respect and wit toward exterior space improves the quality of life of every citizen.

    Green Effect Partnership. 2005
    Snipped from http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesi...re.communities:
    . . .Breaking and Entering is a picture of two utterly different worlds that overlap in place, but not in time. By day Law's office, set in the midst of the vast redevelopment site that is King's Cross, hums with the comfortable sense of entitlement of middle-class creatives. But at night it is overtaken by Nigerian cleaners and Kosovan crack dealers, who keep coming back to steal his computers.

    Minghella's film is a timely reminder of how these two urban worlds depend on each other. But the conventional response of planners is to try to sweep the dark underbelly of the city away. To do that is to risk the collateral damage that will destroy the very qualities that make a city work. It attempts to turn a city into a village, which is no place for the disposed and the ambitious, desperate to escape from poverty.

    The area known as the King's Cross railway lands is a gash in London's fabric that has never healed since the canals and railways tore into it at the start of the 19th century. It reflects the reality of city life in the most brutal and extreme form. Hookers and addicts share the pavements with commuters, skirting the vast swathe of canals and sheds trapped between the Euston Road and the residential streets of Camden Town. King's Cross is currently undergoing a paroxysm of development that irresistibly recalls the feverish transformation of this very piece of land portrayed by Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son

    Dickens captured the surrealistic dislocation of houses left stranded by railway embankments, and roads that lead nowhere. Almost the same thing is happening again. The huge glass and white steel box awkwardly tacked on to the back of Victorian St Pancras, designed to handle the high-speed rail link to Paris and Brussels, is nearing completion. The new station represents a construction project on a scale that matches that of the Victorians - if not their confidence, or their architectural ambition. Negotiating the area, you thread your way through new viaducts that erupt from the mud, past tower cranes and ancient warehouses and gasometers. The landscape is by turns pastoral and derelict.

    Breaking and Entering is a powerful portrait of urban life as it really is. But it is already something of a period piece. Minghella has captured the last days of a King's Cross that is already passing. Planning permission was last week granted for a massive redevelopment of an area larger than Canary Wharf that will complete what the new channel tunnel rail link has started. The gash in London's fabric will finally be healed.

    The plans for the new King's Cross are the product of an architectural team that includes both mainstream modernists Allies and Morrison, and the architectural fundamentalist Demetri Porphyrios. They are an unlikely pair. Porphyrios is best known for building authentic gothic university buildings, such as the Magdalen College Grove Quadrangle in Oxford, in solid, load-bearing stone. Allies and Morrison design polite glass and steel offices for the BBC. The project is being led by Argent, a company run by Roger Madelin, a developer with a penchant for motorcycle jackets. He worked with the same architects on the Brindley Place area of Birmingham, where they stitched together canalside warehouses with a mix of offices, shops and cafes that carefully avoids iconic statements or grand gestures. After six years of work by Madelin and his team, Camden Council has said yes to a scheme that takes a very similar approach. All it needs now is Ken Livingstone's approval.

    Even though it's hard to see much of a future here for Minghella's Kosovans, it's difficult to argue with the mix of uses that Argent has in mind. One area will be devoted to corporate offices. A cultural zone will have the new Central St Martins school of art as its focus, while the northern part of the site will be devoted to housing. Less convincing is the form of the scheme that combines dense urban blocks with disappointing piazzas and parades that do their best to pretend that this is a slice of traditional city, rather than the massive transformation that it really is.

    Argent's architects are apparently driven by the belief that London is a gently haphazard city that has always grown in fits and starts, and avoided the grand gesture. That is a misreading of London which despite its reputation for informality, has usually been able to rise to an occasion. John Nash's Regent's Park was heroic enough to inspire Napoleon III to remodel Paris, just as it was the London Underground that once set the pace for the Paris metro. It's hard not to feel a certain regret that the last attempt to redevelop the same plot of King's Cross land - a huge, oval green the size of Regent's Park and ringed by skyscrapers, was killed off by the 1990s property crash.

    In the last quarter of a century, London has got out of the habit of seeing that such bold strategies are possible. As it is now, King's Cross is a mud-splattered, anarchic mess that reveals the shifting tectonic plates of urban life. The new King's Cross that Argent is planning will be a polite, comfortable place for commuters to drink latte on their way from the train to the office. But a city in the sense that Jude Law's tormented character would understand, it will never be...
    This 2007 film is on HBO's video on demand until March 30. (Free if you subscribe to HBO.)

    I usually watch movies with other people; I made a point of viewing this one alone in order to leisurely freeze and study shots of London and the plans.

  8. #58
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Just saw a movie called Humpday about a straight Transportation Planner who plans on starring in an "adult movie" with his buddy. He mentions his profession but he's never shown at work and his job never comes up again. The movie isn't really worth seeing in general but I figured you'd all want to know.

  9. #59
    Sep 2010
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Inception!! (Great movie by the way...)

    I liked the place where Dicaprio's homes, through time, were place in line in an urban pond.
    Last edited by beto_venegas; 25 Sep 2010 at 6:03 PM.

  10. #60
    Batteries Not Included.
    Evil New York developers + old apartment building + aliens = Awesome!

  11. #61
    Jan 2011
    Manhattan, KS

    planning in film

    As an architect, I can find lots of movies, some you have mentioned. As a planner, not so many. As a faculty member planning to teach a short course called Planning in Pop Culture, I am needing your collective wisdom. My co-instructor has found popular music using planning vocabulary but I have the film component and looking for popular movies with planning concepts, vocabulary, and/or characters. Thanks for the few leads. You all are terrific! I'll check them out but keep 'em coming. I've got to find 10 films...can be foreign, comic, short, or television. I'll be watching movies and reporting back. Bring 'em. lb

  12. #62
    Quote Originally posted by beto_venegas View post
    Inception!! (Great movie by the way...)

    I liked the place where Dicaprio's homes, through time, were place in line in an urban pond.
    I saw it over the Christmas holiday-great movie. That scene that you are talking about is pretty cool.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  13. #63
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries


    The alien on the most recent episode of American Dad professed to having a Masters in City Planning from Harvard in a funny scene.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  14. #64
    Dec 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Here's a sample conversation I've had:

    "What do you go to school for?"
    "Urban planning"
    long silence. "Like, putting in trees and bushes and stuff?"
    "No, Planning, not PLANTING - planning and directing the growth of a city - zoning and stuff."
    "Oh." long silence. "You mean, that's a job someone does?"
    "Yeah, how do you think things get built and taken care of in a city?"
    "I don't know, I guess I never thought about it. I thought it just...well...happened."

    ^^ Lolz similar situation .. when ever I tell people I do "Planning", they automatically think I do wedding planning or something, if I say "Urban Planning" .. they straight away assume I'm a hard core protect the planet green hippie or something lolz!

  15. #65
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
    Jan 2013
    Lol well, its not a movie, but the show Parks and Recreation is planning related!? They have a city planner too, Mark Brandanowitz!

    ... and whenever I tell people I'm studying to be a city planner.. they ALWAYS think that means architect "oh cool, so you like, design buildings!?" ... "no.... It's where the buildings go not what they look like.." .... "I don't get it, why?"

  16. #66
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
    Feb 2005
    Knee deep in the hoopla
    Not a movie, but in the first season of The Walking Dead one of the characters worked in the "zoning office" of the City of Atlanta before the zombie apocalypse. But I think they only mention it once, when she suggests going through a basement exit/storm drain tunnel of an old building to escape the zombies (the reason she knew that the exit existed was from working in the zoning office).

  17. #67
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    Quote Originally posted by Vancity View post
    Lol well, its not a movie, but the show Parks and Recreation is planning related!? They have a city planner too, Mark Brandanowitz!
    I liked the early seasons, he was always hanging out in the courtyard drinking beer. The planner was the cool guy, not just some side reference.

    I can't remember the show, but one of the many cop shows out there (I think it was Without A Trace) had an NYC planner as a suspect. She had plans for a building. I think they sometimes confuse planners with building officials, but it's still good to get a nod out there sometimes.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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