Wednesday – 28.09, 18:00, Kino Nowe Horyzonty
Birmingham Central Library was built in 1973 as part of the Paradise Circus complex, a modernist city center redevelopment project that was never completed.
At the beginning of the 21st century, when architectural historians and activists were hailing the John Madin-designed edifice as one of the finest examples of British Brutalism, Birmingham’s city officials were already planning its demolition, referring to it as an eyesore on the city’s skyline.
Andy Howlett’s film begins when the verdict on the building has already been passed. It is an attempt at a broad and complex analysis of the significance of the library, both in the urban and social landscape of Birmingham and in the cultural and political history of the UK and the world.
In a factual and humorous manner, drawing on the poetics of video essays and vlogs, the director points out both the merits and flaws of the building. All that while attempting to answer the question: is declaring a building ugly enough to make it disappear from our sight forever?