07015I recently watched Intersection, a 1994 flick with Richard Gere and Sharon Stone cast as a husband-wife architect team. We know that Gere is a creative soul–he has long, unruly hair–and that he is financially successful and glamorous–he wears Armani and drives a classic Mercedes 280SL. Stone, oddly cast as an ice queen, runs the business. So far, so good. The setting is Vancouver. The director, Mark Rydell, enlists Arthur Erickson’s Museum of Anthropology (actually almost two decades old, but looking great) as a stand-in for Gere/Stone’s latest architectural triumph. But except for a scene where Gere throws a temper tantrum on a building site, there is nothing in this film to suggest how an architect actually creates. On reflection, I can’t think of a movie that does so successfully; not Two for the Road (although Albert Finney is appropriately self-absorbed), not Towering Inferno nor  Sleepless in Seattle, and definitely not Death Wish. Admittedly, it’s difficult to portray cinematically how the various demands of a project come together in the mind of a designer–but Gere staring intently at a maquette doesn’t quite cut it. My gold standard for portraying creativity is the deathbed scene in Amadeus, in which director Miloš Forman manages to capture the mystery of musical composition. Not that what he portrays is necessarily the way that composers compose, but watching Hulce/Mozart and Abraham/Salieri we get an insight into what it might be like to hear music in your head. As for Intersection, it bombed at the box-office, and I’m afraid hasn’t improved with time.

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