Mock-ups in Close-up, Architectural Models in Film 1919 – 2012, a constantly growing film project by architect Gabu Heindl and film-theorist Drehli Robnik, is a collection of excerpts from an increasing number of narrative films that feature architectural models. In chronological order (from 1927 to 2010), the two-hour long video includes classics as well as recent American comedies and more obscure material.
Some of the models figure quite prominently in the films, others appear more randomly. Without using narration, the compilation attempts to push the inclusion of all mock-ups to the extreme – until traction occurs, or until history (including that of architecture and its applications) again becomes relevant through the archives of randomness: history as an image of the Cold War or the fluidity of labor, as a power play of masculinity and the scale of the models themselves.
The compilation does not primarily deal with “films about architecture”. Rather, it offers a section through an all-inclusive film history which, in the project’s re-writing, appears to be obsessed with showing models in a variety of contexts: be it on the fringes or in the center of a scene, models pop up in love stories, thrillers, psychological dramas, comedies or sci-fi . The list of filmmakers who could not resist to either pan over or to focus on architectural models includes Fritz Lang, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, Ben Stiller, the Farrelly Brothers, and Wes Anderson.