Architecture in Movies

Architecture in Movies – Equilibrium

Futuristic movies of Hollywood have always given great focus on the architecture of the mentioned era. Equilibrium is different from all those conventional futuristic imaginations, because the core of the architectural concepts of the movie lies in Soviet or fascist style of architecture.


Equilibrium presents a vision of a world at peace, with a tremendous human cost. This is a world where war is a distant memory, yet where there is no music, no art, no poetry, where anyone who partakes in such banned activities is guilty of a “Sense Offense,” a crime that carries a death sentence. It is a world where the age-old question “How do you feel?” can never be answered because all feelings have been shut out.

Libria, the main focal point of the movie is a stark, black-and-white metropolis, which is run by a tyrannous dictator named the Father who wields power through a group of Ninja-like “clerics” who enforce his vision of peace through the chemical control of all emotion.

The city of Libria  in Equilibrium presents a controlled state taken to its extremes. The emotion suppressing state’s agenda is clearly expressed through the city’s architecture. Buildings, like the people that inhabit them are faceless and devoid of any feeling. The fascist’s states media manipulative machine is inbuilt into the infrastructure of the city: giant billboards overtake whole build facades, and loud speakers that air a constant stream of propaganda are located at every corner.

Visual effects supervisor Tim McGovern worked alongside Kurt Wimmer and Wolf Kroeger to formulate the look of the walled Librian metropolis. McGovern, who won an Oscar for “Total Recall,” started with a theme of grandiosity. He explains: “The whole idea of fascist architecture is to make the individual feel small and insignificant so the government seems more powerful and I continued that design ethic in the visual effects. For example, Libria is surrounded by a seventy-five feet high wall, the walls just keep going on and on and use vertical and horizontal lines in a Mondrian-type way. ”

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