The Line and The Reel

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    Bad Program Bad Family: Royal Tenenbaums

    Gor Gevorkyan
    Mar 8, '21 12:28 PM EST

    The Tenenbaum’s Home

    In the film The Royal Tenenbaums, film director Wes Anderson uses a three-story townhouse to highlight how the characters deal with depression, secrecy, and anger. There is something to be learned from Wes Anderson’s meticulous decision to place where each family member is roomed. Families have a culture of their own that may determine an individual’s position in life. Each member in the Tenenbaums has unique traits that they present and hide from their family. This could be the result from their family home’s program that encourages hierarchy.


    Wes Anderson separates each sibling by floors to show a hierarchy and reasoning behind their traits. Parents Royal and Ethaline Tenenbaum live on the third floor. Etheline invested into all her children’s endeavors. While Royal only cared for his golden boy Richie because he would bet money on his tennis games. Two parents with opposite views in life, have created a hierarchy encouraged by the program. Richie, pro tennis player and the golden boy of the family, is the closest to his parent’s room. By living in the attic, he would get constant attention from his father. Which is why becoming a champion tennis player was vital to impressing his father and Margo, his non blood related sister that he secretly loved. After quitting tennis and finding out that Margo started a relationship with childhood friend Eli, he lost all hope in life and attempted suicide. Margo lived on the second floor, which is where she is looked down on, even in program. Her father would communicate by looking down on her from the stairs which made her feel small. She is the adopted daughter that peaked during childhood as a star play writer. She dealt with writer's block due to expectations and pent-up anxiety of not being able to love Richie because of societal judgements. With this anxiety of always being watched, she had to hide her smoking habit and personal thoughts due to being sandwiched by her family. On the second floor, which is the closest to the exit, roomed Chas: the traumatized self-driven businessman that was always on the go with his two boys. Little of the movie is dedicated to Chas. Reason being, he is the one who is the most disjointed from the family. Especially due to the tragic passing of his wife. Each sibling has their own ambitions and goals but the hierarchy that is shown in the program can illustrate as to why Richie deals with depression, Margo deals with anxiety, and Chas never opens up.


    Take Away

    What can be taken from this exaggerated family story is to see the side effects of placing rooms farther away from the master bedroom. Our job is to create a program that houses a family and fits their needs. However, there is something more than just deciding where the kitchen goes. We must create program decisions that allow the family to be equal and connected with one another. The goal of this paper is not to say all architects must make one story homes with bedrooms right next to each other but show that our programs can be manipulated in negative ways by families. If we make choices that remove the chances of hierarchy it could allow a family to go from depression, secrecy, and anger to positive open thinking.


    • randomised

      I like the angle of this paper!

      Mar 9, 21 4:11 am  · 
      1  · 

      Thank you, I will be posting more entries to this blog soon.

      Mar 9, 21 2:53 pm  · 
      2  · 

      Plus, Gene Hackman!

      Mar 9, 21 4:55 pm  · 

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About this Blog

The archirects line and film directors film reel. Two very different ways of experessing ideas yet when working together can lead to magic. Students can use movies to inspire a project. By understanding how architecture is used from a film directors’ point of view, the student can learn to use architecture and cinema to sculpt a narrative with tone, presenation,and usage.

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