7.6/10
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First Person Singular: I.M. Pei (1997)

90-minute special on the architect. Filmed throughout the world over a two-year period.

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Architect I.M. Pei speaks about his famous works, such as the addition to the Louvre in Paris, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. Footage of these projects shows both interiors and exteriors. Various other experts comment on the impact and importance of Pei's work. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

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A documentary that also withstood the test of time
23 April 2005 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

The music of Bach starts as soon as you put the DVD into the player. And the voice of I.M. Pei saying he likes "to make comparison with the music of Bach - constant variations of a simple theme."

I was very fortunate to be given the DVD on my birthday. What a fascinating documentary on architect I.M. Pei, the person, his life: childhood in China, family upbringing and education at MIT and Harvard, how he came to appreciate architecture and working in America, showcasing project by project his portfolio (The Louvre in Paris, The Bank of China in Hong Kong, Miho Museum in Japan, various types of museum, structures, and sites across USA), and his viewpoints about his work and experience, the essential elements of architecture and its integral closeness to art and sculpture. There's a lot of wisdom conveyed in this documentary by filmmaker Peter Rosen. The selection of musical pieces accompanying the film in the background or in between is aptly innervating.

There's actually two features on the DVD: "First Person Singular: I.M. Pei" (1997, 84 minutes) and "The Museum on the Mountain" (1998, 49 minutes) documenting the 6-year project of Miho Museum near Kyoto, Japan. The second feature is a wonderful bonus to behold - it certainly made me want to visit this 'out of this world' museum site in the remote mountains in far away Japan.

Whether you're interested in architecture or not, check out this DVD. 'Architecture' will have a new meaning after you've viewed and appreciated these two documentaries.


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