Posted by caroline on June 15, 1997 at 16:03:00:
In reply to Re: Old Houses, Bulldogs and Movies posted by Johanne on June 15, 1997 at 12:28:25
For our purposes here, there are three different kinds of architecture.
Primitive Architecture is more or less what it sounds like. It is built by an individual for his own use, out of whatever materials happen to be around. They are often to a traditional style, but are usually fairly simple. Igloos and teepees are primitive architecture as is Robinson Crusoe's mud hut.
Polite Architecture is the other end of the scale. It is presteige building, specially designed to great effect, usually by a trained architect. Examples would be Versailles, The White House, The C.N. Tower, and Pemberley!
Vernacular Architecture is ordinary, everyday buildings. The kind built by a builder, not an architect, and the sort of thing most of us live in. The kind of building that is a combination of what you need(How many bedrooms?), what is available (roof ties only come in certain sizes, madam, )and what you can afford. Vernacular housing is easy to date, if you know how.(Houses built in the sixties look different from those of the eighties, and those of the nineties, and most people don't need an expert to show them the difference.) Of course, older vernacular housing was designed and built one at a time, not in big developments like today. Vernacular housing can look very different from one location to another ( There are not many pueblos in downtown Ottawa, and not all that many Quebecoises in Florida!)
Why the houses in Emma2 are wrong.
Johanne, one of the things that is clear once you start loking at old houses is that they are built with materials that are close at hand and convenient to work with. Before the days of mass transportation, even the best building stone was not moved more than a couple of miles from the quarry to be used to build barns and pig-pens! So each village develops it's own coherent "look", which might be very different from the next village along the road.
I think one of the hardest things in making a movie is to find exactly the right "look" in locations. In Emma 3, someone worked hard in finding buildings that have the same "look" in local style, materials etc. The end result is that Donwell and Hartfield and the Vicarage look like they "belong" to Highbury, and there is a warm feeling of a small country village created. I think for Emma 2, someone whizzed areound the whole of Dorset, looking at pretty scenes and saying "That looks good, gotta get that in somehow!" Those buildings made of knapped flint ( the round, dark grey stones) could not possibly be anywhere near those thatched cottages made out of ashlared limestone. I guess this is just something I am picky about. It didn't spoil the story for me though, and I'll watch it again, anytime!
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