DOXA Festival Screening- Brasilia: Life After Design

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Join us for the Canadian premiere of Bart Simpson's sublime urban documentary film, BRASILIA: Life After Design (Canada/UK, 2017; 78 min.), followed by discussion with critic of architecture and urbanism Trevor Boddy and documentary filmmaker Bart Simpson. 

Part ode, part critique, Bart Simpson’s film, comparable to Jonathan Richman's tribute to corporate architecture in Lonely Financial Zone, takes the viewer on a surreal and melancholic tour of a strange and monumental cityscape. The camera pans across urban vistas and peers through archways, connecting with city dwellers perched like birds around the vast spaces.

Designers conceived the federal capital, Brasilia, as a utopian project. It was constructed between 1956 and 1960 on an uninhabited site at the geographic center of the country. Brasilia was to be nothing less than the foundation for a new civilization, without the colonial baggage of the previous capital, Rio de Janeiro. Architect Oscar Niemeyer and urban planner Lucio Costa crafted their vision on modernist principles; they organized Brasilia to function as a “rational city.” Decades later, it’s fascinating to see the city’s population navigating the constraints the designers imposed in their obsessive quest for order. Outside the city center, residents make do—eating, shopping, erecting temporary structures, stopping to talk to each other, and generally carrying on with the messy business of being human. As Niemeyer himself states in the film, “life is more important than architecture.” – Adapted from Avril Woodend 

Date: Monday, May 8

Time: 7:00pm - 9:15pm

Admission: $15 Adults, $13 Students, Seniors and MOV members. Prices include GST.  

Open to youth under 18.


Our Neon Vancouver and Vancouver in the Seventies galleries will be open until 7pm. Film ticket holders are welcome to visit these exhibitions prior to the screening.

Guest speaker Bios

Bart Simpson makes documentary films that entertain, engage and spark public debate. Films Simpson has produced include The Corporation (winner at over 25 festivals including Sundance, Toronto, and IDFA, and broadcast worldwide) and Moebius Redux (co-production with Avanti Pictures, Germany; ZDF-ARTE, Bravo! and others). Collaborations include Bananas!* and its sequel, Big Boys Gone Bananas!* (Sundance Film Festival), both with WG Film Sweden. Simpson recently formed a strategic partnership with Lowik Media, Montréal Canada, for development of select co-productions. See

Trevor Boddy is a critic of contemporary architecture/urbanism and a Vancouver-based consulting urban designer. His writing on buildings and cities has been awarded the Alberta Book of the Year Award and the RAIC’s Advocacy Award. At the 2011 World Architecture Congress/Tokyo, Boddy’s essay “MEGA + MICRO: Canada, Innovation at the Extremes” received commendation for the UIA/CICA’s Pierre Vago Prize for best architectural criticism worldwide. His exhibitions include HybridCity, included in the 2011 VAG exhibition WE Vancouver: 12 Manifestoes for the City; and Vancouverism: Architecture Builds the City. Boddy was Adjunct Professor in UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 2012 and 2014; he has served as a studio critic and lecturer worldwide. See