Actress Robin Wright attends a screening of quotThe Congressquot during the 57th BFI London Film Festival Oct 10 2013 Photo by Ben A PruchnieGetty Images for BFI

HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right? 'The Congress' Edition

May 30, 2016
Ron Wilkinson, a professional engineer who moonlights as a film critic, takes a look at the appearance of HVAC in this surreal 2013 drama starring Robin Wright.

Editor’s note: Hollywood long has been known for—ahem—taking liberties with the truth (just ask any composite character). In HPAC Engineering’s ongoing series “HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right?," Ron Wilkinson, a professional engineer who moonlights as a film critic, takes a look at movies and television series whose makers may or may not have let HVAC fundamentals get in the way of a good story.

Actress Robin Wright attends a screening of "The Congress" during the 57th BFI London Film Festival Oct. 10, 2013. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for BFI)

The Congress (2013)

In this surreal drama, a combination of live action and animation, actress Robin Wright (“The Princess Bride,” “Forrest Gump,” “House of Cards”) plays a fictional version of herself, one who, in an effort to save her son’s sight and hearing, agrees to have herself replaced in future films by a digital version of herself. As is typical in these types of movies, the deal has unexpected consequences. On the run from the studio computer zombies controlling the fantasy world, Robin knows an escape route when she sees one. Even in a futuristic world of advanced filmmaking, in which actors have been replaced by computer models, ventilation ducts continue to provide the way out. Down the duct and into the machine room she goes, barely escaping the clutches of Jeff Green (Danny Huston), the evil film producer. "The Congress" had only a limited theatrical release, but is worth checking out. See the trailer below.

About the Author

RON WILKINSON PE LEED AP CPMP | Principal

The founding principal of Seattle-based Wilkinson Commissioning Management, Ron Wilkinson, PE, LEED AP, CPMP, is the author of the first commissioning training program for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction and Major Renovations Green Building Rating System and the founding recording secretary for ASHRAE Guideline Project Committee 0.2/1.2, The Commissioning Process for Existing Building Systems and Assemblies/The Commissioning Process for Existing HVAC&R Systems. An ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and an American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Lecturer, he has spoken on commissioning practices internationally. He is a longtime member of HPAC Engineering’s Editorial Advisory Board.