In the 1950s, a teenage Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, 48 hour fit of rage, ... See full summary »
World-famous architect Louis Kahn (Exeter Library, Salk Institute, Bangladeshi Capitol Building) had two illegitimate children with two different women outside of his marriage. Son Nathaniel always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife. Instead, Kahn was found dead in a men's room in Penn Station when Nathaniel was only 11. Nathaniel travels the world visitng his father's buildings and haunts in this film, meeting his father's contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and children. Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
When you want to give something presence, you have to consult nature. And there is where design comes in. If you think of brick, for instance, you say to brick, "What do you want, brick?" And brick says to you, "I like an arch." And if you say to brick, "Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that, brick?" brick says, "I like an arch."
And it's important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. You don't bandy it ...
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A very personal documentary which succeeds in evoking the splendour of Louis Kahn's buildings
Nominated for best documentary feature at 2004's Academy Awards, My Architect follows filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn in his quest to find out about his father, the legendary architect Louis I Kahn. Lou Kahn died in 1974, when Nate was 11 years old, leaving behind an incredible but limited body of work, unpaid debts and three separate families all living within a few kilometres of each other.
My Architect follows Kahn's life through chronologically examining his buildings, and interspersing their beauty with the story of a charismatic, but selfish and emotionally immature genius. As the son which Lou never publicly acknowledged during his lifetime, Nate has delicately placed himself in the story without overpowering the main focus.
When examining the magnificent Salk Institute in California, Nate evokes his father's mythic use of space and light in his buildings, making it a peaceful and fascinating experience for viewers. The shot of Nate rollerblading in Salk's smoky white central meeting place emphasises the building's harmony with nature. It's breathtaking. My Architect also covers the difficulty Louis Kahn had with getting his designs accepted. Several fantastical buildings exist only on paper, dismissed by more practical architects and property developers. It wasn't until Louis Kahn went to the East that his visions were enthusiastically embraced. In India, where he built the Indian
Institute of Management, a former co-worker describes him as a guru. In Bhangladesh, where he built the magnificent National Assembly Building, citizens consider him a father of democracy.
Watching My Architect is a wonderful way to begin or continue learning about architecture and the importance of space. But it's the irony of Lou Kahn's egotism combined with the transcendence of his work that will inspire you. 4 stars.
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