In a review of the new Mel Gibson film Edge of Darkness
, Roger Ebert makes an interesting observation
Because much of the movie is a cranked-up thriller with chases, fights, conspiracies and all that stuff, permit me a digression on secretive, shadowy corporations. What kinds of headquarters buildings do they inhabit? I Googled. Blackwater, which supplies our mercenaries in Iraq, has a drab two-story building outside Cleveland, with eight cars parked in front. Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old company, recently moved from Houston to an anonymous skyscraper in -- Dubai, closer to its place of business.
I mention this because Northmoor -- which you will not be surprised to learn traffics in illegal, traitorous and dangerous activities -- occupies a spectacular structure atop a tall riverside hill, visible from miles around: Its tower, its modernistic design, its curious enormous gleaming globe, suggesting a planetarium. It is a building worthy of magazine covers, not least Architectural Digest.
Well, it's obvious why Evil Co. always looks more spectacular in movies than in real life: Directors like to keep things visually interesting. That's why courthouses and libraries in films are usually old and amber-lit and architecturally detailed, with lots of wood and banker's lamps and statuary and what-not, even though libraries and courtrooms rarely look that way in reality.
So here's Goldmann Sachs, 32 Old Slip, Manhattan:
Nah. Just doesn't say "evil." Paint it black.
But wait -- Goldman also has the Goldman Sachs Tower in New Jersey, 30 Hudson:
Yeah! Definitely getting there. It needs something, though. I'm thinking giant, sparking Tesla coils on top of the roof, emitting clouds of sulphur...
That's the American International Building at 70 Pine Street; the other side faces Wall Street. To me, it isn't evil. The observation deck used to be open to the public, but when AIG bought the place they made it private. Now only AIG execs can enter that deck.
This building is the tallest in the financial district. The Twin Towers used to be taller, of course. Those AIG execs on the observation deck must have had an excellent view of you-know-what, unless and until they were forced to evacuate.
What I'm looking for is an Evil Corporation housed in a building that just screams" "I'm evil! EEEEEEeeeeee-Villllllllllll.....!" Any suggestions?
(Yes, Roberta? Ah. St. Peter's. Very funny. Now go to the back of the class and ask the saints to forgive you for dissing Bramante, Bernini and Michelangelo.)