ArcLight Presents Architecture Afternoons with CAF: Stranger Than Fiction

February 19, 2017 | 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has partnered with ArcLight Cinemas Chicago to bring you an exclusive monthly film series that explores how filmmakers use our city and its architecture to tell extraordinary stories. The selected films will be screened and followed by a discussion and Q&A with expert panelists on compelling themes related to the film as they pertain to architecture and design, filmmaking, and Chicago.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006) - Discussion topics: Mid-Century Modern, International Style, creating feelings with architecture, how architecture influences one’s sense of place and identity

Synopsis: The comedy Stranger than Fiction (2006) follows a character named Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) on his surreal quest to find out why his life is being narrated by a disembodied voice (Emma Thompson). The film was shot in Chicago but intentionally made to look like any large city through the clever use of the Mid-Century Modern and International Styles of architecture. Observant watchers will notice clear use of well-known Chicago locations such as the CNA Building, River City and multiple locations at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Several neighborhood spots made it into the film as well, including a cafe in Little Village and the Logan Theatre. Near the end of the film, the architecture shifts toward the contextual in a move that makes the film feel less claustrophobic and anonymous. The Wrigley Building, a Chicago icon and certainly not a Mid-Century Modern structure, even shows up at the end of the film after this tonal shift.

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