Thursday 31 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Citizen Architect: Samuel...

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio

None October 7th, 2010

Conceptual architecture might strike some as an elitist art, but the film "Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio" shows how the legacy of one idealist can create a viable program of bold design for one of the most destitute communities in Alabama.

The film screens 6:30 p.m. today at City Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing. A discussion with director Sam Wainwright Douglas and architect Dave Boeck will follow.

Rural Studio was personified by the buoyant, humanistic spirit of Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee, who started the undergraduate program for Auburn University in the '90s as a way to encourage architecture students to engage impoverished communities. He wanted the budding minds to see how architecture could benefit humanity.

It began with a project dubbed the Smoke House, completed in 1994, and endured after Mockbee's death in 2001. The program has now finished more than 60 projects, including the Akron Boys & Girls Club and the Safe House Museum.

The buildings are not simply low-rent housing, but innovative works of art that have the students designing and building striking, practical structures to offer residents a higher standard of living.

The documentary focuses on one particular project for Jimmie Lee Matthews, known in his community as the "Music Man." He lived in squalor before Rural Studio took on the project.

"The Music Man loves rhythm and blues. He loves old soul music and is really charismatic and a really sweet guy," Douglas said. "He was living in horrible conditions and, like a lot of the students, I was blown away at someone living in such abject poverty had such a joyful spirit. He was so loving and welcoming. He was a real joy to be around."

Encouraging empathy in the next generation of architects is at the heart of the Rural Studio mission.

"Architecture is a social art," Mockbee said in the documentary. "It is our social responsibility as architects that we deliver architecture that not only meets the functional and creature comforts, but also spiritual comforts."

Admission is $5. For more information, call 951-0000 or visit "”Charles Martin
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