21 February 2007

Tobacco Lobby + Architects = Bright Future




There’s a scene in the satirical comedy Thank You for Smoking where the vertical blinds of an office window have been specially prepared by the art department so as to resemble a row of cigarettes. It’s a subtle visual trick, a hidden ‘easter-egg’ revealed by the director Jason Reitman in the DVD audio commentary.

My colleage Andreas forwarded me this photo he took in the Cubix Cinema on Alexanderplatz here in Berlin, where life, or lamps, seem to be imitating art: from filter, to glowing tip and subtle smokey reflection, the correspondence is uncanny.

In an age where cigarettes feature more in the adverts before the film than in the film itself; where tobacco sponsorship of sports is on the decline and where smoking bans are rightly being imposed by governments all over the world, Big Tobacco will be on the lookout for new territories from which to advertise their wares. But subliminal architectural features in cinemas? Surely not …