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My Architect

My Architect

Coinciding with ‘Place Makers: Contemporary Queensland Architects’, the Australian Cinémathèque presents award-winning documentaries on the work of major twentieth and twenty-first century architects, including Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvaro Siza, Oscar Niemeyer, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Charles and Ray Eames, Louis Kahn and Herzog & de Meuron. Selected screenings will be introduced by architects featured in the Place Makers exhibition.

Production still from Great Expectations

Great Expectations 2007 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR AND BLACK AND WHITE, DOLBY DIGITAL, 52 MINUTES, SWEDEN, ENGLISH / GERMAN / PORTUGUESE / FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: JESPER WACHTMEISTER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SIMON PRAMSTEN / PRODUCTION CO: SOLARIS FILMPRODUKTION, EIGHT MILLIMETRES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SOLARIS FILMPRODUKTION

Great Expectations' provides an astonishing journey through innovative, futuristic, utopian and sometimes bizarre architecture projects – including concrete illusions of grandeur and Lego-like modular apartments to an Instant City Airship and round, grass-covered subterranean dwellings – from the beginning of the twentieth century to today. Since the end of the nineteenth century, due to industrialization and rapid technological progress, mankind has been confronted with new problems and possibilities. Visionary architects and artists, motivated by contemporary problems, including housing shortages, urban decay and pollution, set about to create changes in our ways of living that challenged conventional concepts of the good, the true and the beautiful. Great Expectations introduces us to the most significant architectural movements and personalities of the twentieth century, including, among many others, Le Corbusier's functionalist cities, Buckminster Fuller's lightweight geodesic domes, Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67 prefab apartments, Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum and other anthroposophy buildings in Switzerland, Oscar Niemeyer's sleek urban designs for Brasilia, Paolo Soleri's “archology" of crystal-like desert cities, Antti Lovag's curved surfaces of Palais Bulles in France, Jacque Fresco's utopian Venus Project in Florida, and Peter Cook and Colin Fournier's biomorphic Kunsthaus Graz in Austria. Using archival and contemporary footage, animation and interviews, Great Expectations tells the fascinating story of these grand architectural visions, both realized and unrealized, as explained by great thinkers with revolutionary, if not always successful, ideas.’ Solaris Filmproduktion

Wed 13 Aug 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 17 Aug 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright 1997 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 155 MINUTES, U.S.A., ENGLISH / DIRECTORS: KEN BURNS, LYNN NOVICK / SCRIPT: GEOFFREY C. WARD / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: KEN BURNS, BUDDY SQUIRES / EDITORS: SARAH HILL, TRICIA REIDY / PRODUCTION CO: FLORENTINE FILMS, WETA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: WGBH INTERNATIONAL

‘For more than 70 years, Frank Lloyd Wright showed his countrymen new ways to build their homes and see the world around them. He created some of the most monumental, and some of the most intimate spaces in America. He designed everything: banks and resorts, office buildings and churches, a filling station and a synagogue, a beer garden and an art museum. From his first house to his final masterpiece, follow Frank Lloyd Wright’s extraordinary career, his life, and twentieth century American architecture.’ Public Broadcasting Service

Wed 20 Aug 6.00pm (Part 1) and 7.30pm (Part 2) / Cinema A and Sun 24 Aug 1.30pm (Part 1) and 3.00pm (Part 2) / Cinema B

Production still from Sketches of Frank Gehry

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2005 All ages

 

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 83 MINUTES, GERMANY/USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: SYDNEY POLLACK / CINEMATOGRAPHY MARCUS BIRSEL, ULTAN GUILFOYLE, SYDNEY POLLACK, CLAUDIO ROCHA, GEORGE TIFFIN / EDITOR: KAREN SCHMEER / PRODUCTION CO: AMERICAN MASTERS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOPSCOTCH FILMS

 

‘Beginning with Gehry's own original sketches for each major project, Pollack's film explores Gehry's process of turning these evanescent, abstract drawings into tangible, three-dimensional form: finished buildings of titanium and glass, concrete and steel, wood and stone. Working closely with his colleagues, Gehry takes his sketch ideas and, as quickly as possible, makes them three-dimensional, the better to see how his buildings work, how they fit with their neighbours, how they function in the most essential way. Frank Gehry is that rare kind of architect who has garnered both critical acclaim and popular fame. Not since Frank Lloyd Wright has an architect been such a household name. Gehry's designs dramatically blur the line between art and architecture, yet the strong appeal of his sculptural designs does not obscure the role of function. He follows a painstaking process of subtle vision and revision both in his sketches and in his model shop.’ Public Broadcasting Service

 

Wed 27 Aug 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 31 Aug 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Bird's Nest: Herzog & De Meuron in China

Bird's Nest: Herzog & De Meuron in China 2008 All ages

35MM, COLOUR, STEREO DIGITAL, 88 MINUTES, SWITZERLAND, GERMAN/MANDARIN/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: CHRISTOPH SCHAUB, MICHAEL SCHINDHELM / SCRIPT: CHRISTOPH SCHAUB / CINEMATOGRAPHY: MATTHIAS KÄLIN, STÉPHANE KUTHY / EDITOR: MARINA WERNLI / PRODUCTION COMPANIES: ARTE, SF SCHWEIZER FERNSEHEN, SRG SSR IDÉE SUISSE, T&C FILM AG

‘Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindelm follow two Swiss star architects on two very different projects: the national stadium for the Olympic summer games in Beijing 2008 and a city area in the provincial town of Jinhua, China. Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are literally building bridges between two cultures, two architectural traditions, and two political systems. Bird’s Nest presents the Basle architects as they find solutions not in the comfort of an ivory tower but in encounters and friction on the ground'. T&C Film AG

Wed 3 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 7 Sept 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Kochuu: Japanese Architecture Influence and Origin

Kochuu: Japanese Architecture Influence and Origin 2003 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, SOUND, 52 MINUTES, SWEDEN, SWEDISH/JAPANESE/FINNISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: JESPER WACHTMEISTER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ASKILD EDVARDSEN / PRODUCTION CO: SOLARIS FILMPRODUKTION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SOLARIS FILMPRODUKTION

‘A film about modern Japanese architecture, its roots in the Japanese tradition and its impact on the Nordic building-tradition. Winding its way through visions of the future, traditions, nature, concrete, gardens and high-tech, Kochuu tells us how contemporary Japanese architects strive to unite the ways of modern man with the old philosophies in astounding constructions. Interviews with and works by Japanese architects Tadad Ando, Kisho Kurokawa, Toyo Ito and Kazuo Shinohara and Scandinavian architects Sverre Fehn, Kristian Gullichsen and Juhani Pallasmaa.’ Adelaide Film Festival

Wed 10 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 14 Sept 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from The Films of Ray & Charles Eames

The Films of Ray & Charles Eames All ages

True believers in the American ideal, Ray and Charles Eames sought to produce an elegant modernity, for all. The Eames principle was simply – to design objects that would be built and enjoyed by ordinary people. Mass production, paired with selling products on its own merits was integral aspect to their approach, made clear in this selection of Eames films.

Program 1: 'Design is Architecture is Design'

Dubbed the “Quintessential American Designers”, the name Eames is most commonly associated with the furniture designed and made for the Herman Miller company ― a virtual patron of their practice. However, while technically unqualified, Charles Eames regarded himself foremost as an architect: “We consider it all architecture.” The films included in Program 1 convey a true enthusiasm for good, practical, ambitious design based on reasonable constraints.

Eames Fiberglass Chairs 1970 (8 minutes)
Eames Lounge Chair 1956 (2 minutes)
S-73 (Sofa Compact) 1957 (10 minutes)
Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair 1960 (6 minutes)
SX-70 1972 (10 minutes)
The Expanding Airport 1958 (9 minutes)
House: After Five Years of Living 1955 (10 minutes)
Lucia Chase Vignette 1978 (2 minutes)
Solar Do-Nothing Machine 1957 (2 minutes)

Program 2: 'Mathematics, or, Universe as Elegant Design'

Early bloomers in the information age, Eames made films, installations and dazzling presentations, both didactic and entertaining, which were integral to their engagement in the world. In Program 2 we see a passion for the elegance of a reasonable universe, and a wonder for the mathematics underlying.

Powers of Ten
1977 (8 minutes)
Kepler's Laws 1974 (2 minutes)
Exponents 1973 (3 minutes)
IBM Mathematics Peep Shows 1961 (10 minutes)
Alpha (A Bravura containing some of the fundamentals of Algebra) 1972 (1 minute)
Babbage 1968 (3 minutes)

Wed 17 Sept 6.00pm / QAG Lecture Theatre and Sun 21 Sept 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from My Architect: A Son's Journey

My Architect: A Son's Journey 2003 All ages

 

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 116 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: NATHANIEL KAHN / CINEMATOGRAPHY: ROBERT RICHMAN / EDITOR: SABINE KRAYENBÜHL / PRODUCTION CO: LOUIS KAHN PROJECT INC., MEDIAWORKS INC. / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOPSCOTCH FILMS

 

My Architect is a tale of love and art, betrayal and forgiveness in which the illegitimate son of a legendary artist undertakes a five year, worldwide exploration to understand his long-dead father. Louis I. Kahn, who died in 1974, is considered by many architectural historians to have been the most important architect of the second half of the twentieth century. A Jewish immigrant who overcame poverty and the effects of a devastating childhood accident, Kahn created a handful of intensely powerful and spiritual buildings — geometric compositions of brick, concrete and light — which, in the words of one critic, “change your life.” In My Architect, the filmmaker reveals the haunting beauty of his father's monumental creations and takes us deep within his own divided family, uncovering a world of prejudice, intrigue and the myths that haunt parents and children.’ New Yorker Films

 

Wed 24 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 28 Sept 2.00pm / Cinema B

 

Production still from Building the Gherkin

Building the Gherkin 2005 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 89 MINUTES, SWITZERLAND, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: MIRJAM VON ARX / CINEMATOGRAPHY: ROTKOPF FRED / EDITOR: JANET TAYLOR / PRODUCTION COMPANIES: CONDOR COMMUNICATIONS, ICAN FILMS GMBH / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MIRJAM VON ARX

‘One month after the disastrous attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the first steel beam of a new tower is erected in London. One question is on everybody's mind: is it the right decision to build a new iconic tower in the midst of London's financial district, on a site that has already been bombed before? The 40-storey steel and glass tower sparks further controversy. Norman Foster, one of Britain's most visionary architects, calls his design for the new Swiss Re London headquarters 'radial — socially, technically, architecturally and spatially'. In fact, its size and shape are so radical that it is almost immediately nicknamed “the erotic gherkin”.’ Mirjam von Arx

Wed 1 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 5 Oct 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer – A Vida É Um Sopro (Oscar Niemeyer – Life is Like a Breath) 2007 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 90 MINUTES, BRAZIL, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: FABIANO MACIEL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MARCO OLIVEIRA E JACQUES CHEUICHE / EDITOR: JOANA COLLIER, JORDANA BERG, NINA GALANTERNICK PRODUCTION CO: GÁVEA FILMES / PIPA PRODUÇÕES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: GÁVEA FILMES

Oscar Niemeyer - Life is Like a Breath was recorded over the course of 10 years and features a relaxed Niemeyer discussing his main projects, the ideal of a more just society and metaphysical issues, like the insignificance of mankind in the universe. The title is from an expression spoken by him, which affirms that life should be lived intensely, because it is like a breath. Filmed in Brazil, Uruguay, Algeria, France, Italy, England, the United States and Portugal, it also presents images from archives and the opinions of writers, such as the Portuguese José Saramago and the Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano, as well as the British historian Eric Hobsbawn.’ CONSTRUCTALIA

Wed 8 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 12 Oct 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Alvaro Siza

Alvaro Siza: Transforming Reality 2004 All ages

BETACAM SP, COLOUR, STEREO, 58 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BLACKWOOD / EDITOR: JOELLE SCHON / PRODUCTION CO/PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MICHAEL BLACKWOOD PRODUCTIONS

‘Portugal's renowned architect discusses his work and tours approximately 15 projects with architectural historian Kenneth Frampton, who has referred to Siza as "one of the most important architects working today". Siza's approach to architecture is centred on the idea that the setting of a building is integral to its design, moreover that a structure's design should reinforce its surroundings by both enhancing and highlighting its potential.’ Michael Blackwood Productions

Wed 15 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 19 Oct 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from Lagos/Koolhaas

Lagos/Koolhaas 2002 All ages

BETA SP, COLOR, DOLBY SR, 55 MINUTES, NETHERLANDS, HAUSA / DUTCH / ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: BREGTJE VAN DER HAAK / CINEMATOGRAPHY: ALEXANDER OEY / EDITOR: J.P. LUYSTERBURG / PRODUCTION CO.: PIETER VAN HUYSTEE FILM AND TELEVISION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BIG PETE PRODUCTIONS B.V.

Lagos/Koolhaas follows Rem Koolhaas during his research in Lagos over a period of two years. Using small digital cameras, Bregtje van der Haak documented Koolhaas documenting Lagos and tried to grasp and convey a sense of the new urban life that is being invented here. Noisy, unpredictable and exploding in multiple screens and activities at once, Lagos/Koolhaas delves into the multi-layered fabric of the city and tries to make sense of it.’ Pieter van Huystee Film

     

Wed 22 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 26 Oct 2.00pm / Cinema B

Production still from The Socialist, the Architect and the Twisted Tower

The Socialist, the Architect and the Twisted Tower 2005 All ages

DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 59 MINUTES, SWEDEN, SWEDISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FREDRIK GERTTEN / CINEMATOGRAPHY: ULF SÖDERGREN / EDITORS: MARIE-LOUISE BORDINGGAARD & OLIVIER BUGGE COUTTÉ / PRODUCTION CO: WESTMAN & GERTTEN AB / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FIRST HAND FILMS WORLD SALES

‘A dramatic, behind-the-scene-story about the building of Santiago Calatravas Turning Torso in Malmö. A 190 meter high, twisted residential building which was appointed “worlds best residential building project” at Mipim in Cannes, 2005. A film that shows the thorny confrontation between dreams and reality: cultural clashes, financial crisis and heavy personal defeats. A hazardous project where the deposits are high and everyone involved has something to loose.’ WG Film

     

Wed 29 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A and Sun 2 Nov 2.00pm / Cinema B