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The American Architect In Focus

by Victor last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:56 AM
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by Eric last modified Oct 19, 2010

PrairieMod reader Mark H. was kind enough to send us the heads-up on an architectural film series event titled "The American Architect in Focus" and co-sponsored by Block Cinema and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. More details after the jump... Info from the press release: Block Cinema and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust present a film series that focuses on America's architectural heritage and the groundbreaking visionaries who defined it. The series will...




 

 

Picture 3 PrairieMod reader Mark H. was kind enough to send us the heads-up on an architectural film series event titled "The American Architect in Focus" and co-sponsored by Block Cinema and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. More details after the jump...

Info from the press release:

Block Cinema and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust present a film series that focuses on America's architectural heritage and the groundbreaking visionaries who defined it. The series will feature films that investigate the legacy of unique and fiercely independent Chicago-based architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Mies van der Rohe. Two new documentaries will be screened as part of the series: Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture which celebrates the work of one of the nation's most original architects and Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner which will introduce filmgoers to the man who created the breathtaking Southern California homes that have provided memorable backdrops to numerous Hollywood films.

The film series will also feature two classic films that highlight Hollywood's fascination with architects (and the apparently lusty lives they lead): The Fountainhead (1949) which stars Gary Cooper as an uncompromising New York architect in a torrid relationship with his client's wife (Patricia Neal), and Strangers When We Meet (1960) which features Kirk Douglas as a Los Angeles modernist architect in love with his sultry, married neighbor (Kim Novak). Finally the series will present an eclectic program of short films featuring American architecture, including Shirley Clarke's Skyscraper (1960) and a mid-century "Popular Science" short on Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship.

Screenings take place at Block Cinema at the Mary and Leigh Block Musuem of Art, Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Unless otherwise noted, admission is $4 with Block Museum membership, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust membership, Northwestern Wildcard, or student ID; $6 for the general public. Tickets are available 30 minutes
before showtime at Block Cinema only. Please see below for additional information on each film and visit the Block Cinema website for directions and parking information.

Thursday, October 28, 7pm
Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture
(Mark Richard Smith, 2010 US, video, 97 min.)

Though a pioneering genius whose work bridged the 19th and 20th centuries both technologically and aesthetically, architect Louis Sullivan (often lauded as the creator of the skyscraper) has never been explored in depth on film. Director Smith rectifies this glaring omission with grand, sweeping shots of Sullivan's surviving buildings, which showcase the master's bold exteriors and colorful, intricate interiors in exquisite detail. Sullivan's unique, iconoclastic style would influence an entire generation of architects, including his former chief draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright. In person: Mark Richard Smith

Friday, November 5, 7pm
Strangers When We Meet
(Richard Quine, 1960, US, 35mm, 117 min.)

Larry Coe (Kirk Douglas) is an ambitious modern architect who's building a home for the arrogant, best-selling novelist Roger (Ernie Kovacs). Larry struggles to remain an "experimental" designer while juggling another challenge: his affair with Margaret (Kim Novak), a sultry and unsatisfied housewife. Reminiscent of Douglas Sirk's eye-popping melodramas, Strangers When We Meet navigates the suburban mores of postwar America and its preoccupation with a subject the characters spell out in the company of children-S.E.X. Strangers When We Meet will be presented in a pristine archival, widescreen, 35mm print with thanks to Sony Pictures, and Anne and Kirk Douglas.

Saturday, November 6, 2pm matinee FREE
Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe
(Joseph Hillel, Patrick Demers, 2005, Canada, video, 57 min.)

Featuring interviews with Rem Koolhaas, Phyllis Lambert and his students and colleagues, Regular or Super is an entertaining and enlightening portrait of one of the world's best-known architects, Mies van der Rohe. Europe lost one of its shining talents when the Nazis shut down the Bauhaus, forcing Mies to emigrate to the US and set up shop in Chicago, where he melded the ultra-modern international style with his bold less is more aesthetic, and revolutionized the modern city.

Preceded by:
A Girl is a Fellow Here: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright
(Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, 2009, US, video, 19 min.)

A pioneer in more ways than one, Frank Lloyd Wright broke new ground by training and employing women as architects, treating them as equals to their male counterparts. A Girl is a Fellow Here focuses on six women who worked and studied with Wright, including Lois Gottlieb and Eleanore Pettersen.

Friday, November 12, 7pm
The Fountainhead
(King Vidor, 1949, US, 114 min.)

In adapting her own bestselling novel about a staunchly individualistic architect, author Ayn Rand retained the heroic, larger-than-life tone and "Objectivist" philosophy that makes the source material as controversial today as it was upon publication. When Howard Roark (Gary Cooper) learns that his plans for an ambitious housing project have been altered due to the machinations of an unscrupulous architecture critic, he unhesitatingly risks his life and freedom rather than see his vision compromised. Patricia Neal co-stars as his steamy love interest-who's also his client's wife. Archival 35mm print from the Library of Congress.

Thursday, November 18, 7pm
Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner
(Murray Grigor, 2009, US, HDCam video, 90 min.)

A disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner left an indelible mark on contemporary home architecture with his airy, often playful designs and preference for nontraditional building materials. Though largely unknown to the public during his lifetime, Lautner frequently caught the attention of peers, aspiring architects, and filmmakers (his work provided eye-popping locations for such films as Diamonds Are Forever and The Big Lebowski). Director Grigor couples sweeping, lovingly shot tours of Lautner's most celebrated projects with audio recordings of the master assessing his life, works, and method.

Saturday, November 20, 2pm matinee FREE
Building Blocks: Architecture Shorts

This free Saturday matinee showcases an electric group of short films and videos that feature American architecture, from Shirley Clarke's Skyscraper (1960) to a 1940s "Popular Science" short featuring Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship, and much more

Image via Block Cinema website


 

 

 
 
 

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