The Archidirector series turns your favorite directors into buildings

It’s usually quite difficult to translate an artist’s work into a different medium. Adaptations from page to screen or from canvas to music pose infinite problems and places where it’s hard to capture the soul of the original work and present it in its new format. Yet that’s exactly what artist Federico Babina did with his Archidirector series, using film directors’ oeuvres to determine the design of their buildings.

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From our July issue: “Juggling Wolves” - Kelsey Ford on Rear Window

“It’s nighttime in New York. Humid air gives way to rain. A couple, sleeping on the fire escape, is forced to drag their mattress back inside. A man in a wet parka leaves his apartment with a suitcase. An intoxicated songwriter swipes at the paper music laid out on his piano. The man with the suitcase returns, and then leaves again. A woman, dressed up and returning from a long night, shoves the door in her date’s face. The man with the suitcase returns.

Some floors up, L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is watching. He’s confined to his wheelchair with a broken leg, and the restlessness of being a sidelined photographer has gotten the best of him. During the day, he has a nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), and a fiancée, Lisa (Grace Kelly), to keep him company. But now it’s nighttime. He’s alone and he can’t sleep.

The courtyard his apartment window looks out on is a standard one, with a range of buildings: some tall and narrow and brick, others short and squat with more windows than square footage. Ladders on fire escapes lead to small gardens below. Each window offers miniature dramas: the heartbreak, the happiness, the loneliness, the mess. Jeffries’ vantage is perfect: from above, he can see without being seen.

When others should be dreaming, Jeffries is watching those who aren’t.”

(Read the entire essay for free at RogerEbert.com)

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