FREE THURSDAY FILMS
ARCHITECTS AND THEORETICIANS
JANUARY 11, 18 AND 25, 2001,
In conjunction with the exhibition Herzog
& de Meuron: In Process, this free series presents three films
that approach the subject of architecture in intriguing and humorous ways.
Making the Getty Center
directed by Susan Froemke
above to view clip.
OF WILLS: MAKING THE GETTY CENTER
BY SUSAN FROEMKE, BOB EISENHARDT, AND ALBERT MAYSLES
Following the 14-year development and construction of the new Getty Center
in Los Angeles, the making of the documentary Concert of Wills: Making
the Getty Center, was "a monumental task," according to film editor
Bob Eisenhardt. "It was a puzzle that came together the same way the buildings
come together." More than 200 hours of footage was shot by Albert Maysles
and four other cinematographers, whose original intent had been simply
to document the process for the Getty Archives. Noted architect Richard
Meier was commissioned to design the building, but conflict ensued as
his plans collided with the wishes of artist-garden designer Robert Irwin,
Getty Museum Director John Walsh, other Getty principals, and finally
with the community of Brentwood itself, which was opposed to any disruption
of its rustic splendor. "In this film, the human story is as integral
as the construction," says filmmaker Susan Froemke. "Concert of Wills
gives you a rare look at a creative process in action, where different
aesthetic philosophies meet head on, and are passionately defended." 1997,
U.S., 100 minutes.
David Lynch creates a surreal world in which the environment (the interiors,
the architecture, and the design) contributes to the alienation and schizophrenic
mood of the film. At the same time, he sets up an intriguing maze with
the narrative and time. Lost Highway is another complex dream play,
a dive into the bizarre and unexplainable mechanism of the subconscious.
1996, U.S., 135 minutes.
Tati's third film as Mr. Hulot finds him and a group of American women
tourists in the new, shiny Paris of the 1960s. The film set itself, a
massive construction on the outskirts of the city, was so large that it
became a tourist attraction for the period it stood, even earning the
name "Tati-ville." For Playtime, Tati worked for the first time
in 70mm, with full stereophonic sound. Ironically, the theme of the movie
is the encroachment of new technologies and architecture and, of course,
the many ways to hilariously blunder through them. "In dealing with the
overwhelming contemporary world, Tati is able to find comedy and adventure
within the most mundane activities. . . . Like the comedy heroes who dealt
with perils of an earlier age, Hulot deals heroically with those perils
peculiar to this overcomplicated modern age," writes Brent Maddock. Playtime
is a suitably offbeat conclusion to the Walker's three-part series of
films about the buildings we live in and the people who design them. 1967,
France, in French with English subtitles, 108 minutes.
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