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"American Masters: Sketches of Frank Gehry (#20.7)"
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"American Masters" Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005)

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Sketches of Frank Gehry: Season 20: Episode 7 -- A look at the life and work of the renown architect.


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View company contact information for Sketches of Frank Gehry on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
10 September 2005 (Season 20, Episode 7)
A look at the life and work of the renown architect. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(4 articles)
Scheduling Sundance, Day 2: January 21, 2011
 (From Cinematical. 21 January 2011, 1:00 AM, PST)

Cactus Three sets fund to help complete films
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 14 October 2010, 1:00 PM, PDT)

Sydney Pollack: Hollywood's Quiet Icon
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 26 May 2010, 3:22 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Pollack on Gehry: An Intimate Dialogue Between Friends Yields True Insight Into the Architecture Icon See more (17 total) »


 (Episode Cast)
Charles Arnoldi ... Himself (as Chuck Arnoldi)

Barry Diller ... Himself

Michael Eisner ... Himself
Rolf Fehlbaum ... Himself
Hal Foster ... Himself (archive footage)
Mildred Friedman ... Herself
Frank O. Gehry ... Himself

Bob Geldof ... Himself

Dennis Hopper ... Himself
Charles Jencks ... Himself
Philip Johnson ... Himself
Thomas Krens ... Himself
Peter Lewis ... Himself
Herbert Muschamp ... Himself

Michael Ovitz ... Himself

Sydney Pollack ... Himself
Norman Rosenthal ... Himself
Edward Ruscha ... Himself
Esa-Pekka Salonen ... Himself

Julian Schnabel ... Himself
Milton Wexler ... Himself

Episode Crew
Directed by
Sydney Pollack 
Produced by
Stanley F. Buchthal .... executive producer (as Stanley Buchthal)
Cathrine Ellis .... line producer
Prudence Glass .... series producer
Julie Goldman .... co-executive producer
Ultan Guilfoyle .... producer
Maya Kamila Hoffmann .... executive producer (as Maja Hoffmann)
Krysanne Katsoolis .... co-executive producer
Susan Lacy .... executive producer
Sydney Pollack .... executive producer
Julie Sacks .... supervising producer
Caroline Stevens .... co-executive producer
Brainerd Taylor .... associate producer
Suzanne Weil .... executive producer
Hiro Yamagata .... executive producer
Original Music by
Claes Nystrom  (as Sorman & Nystrom)
Jonas Sorman  (as Sorman & Nystrom)
Cinematography by
Marcus Birsel 
Ultan Guilfoyle 
Sydney Pollack 
Claudio Rocha 
George Tiffin 
Film Editing by
Karen Schmeer 
Production Management
Patrick Lindenmaier .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bruce Sears .... assistant director
Sound Department
Adrian Bell .... sound recordist
Tom Efinger .... sound re-recording mixer
Tom Efinger .... sound supervisor
John Moros .... sound editor
Sean O'Neil .... sound recordist
Jon Oh .... sound
Nicholas Schenck .... additional sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Marcello Duarte .... assistant camera
Eric Jennings .... first assistant camera
Michael Lindquist .... assistant camera
Steve Mulcahey .... key grip
Bruce Sears .... assistant camera
James Tavella .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Patrick Lindenmaier .... color correction
Michael Weingrad .... assistant editor
Adam Zucker .... additional editor
Jim Passon .... color timer (uncredited)
Other crew
Kiki Allgeier .... production administration
Heidi Druckemiller .... researcher
Hope Hall .... researcher
Sophie Heldman .... location manager
Melissa Lintinger .... production accountant
Nicole London .... production coordinator
Tanit Plana .... location manager
Heidi Sowards .... location manager
Keri Wilson .... assistant to director
Dia Sokol Savage .... thanks (as Dia Sokol)
Laura Stella .... special thanks

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Susan Lacy  creator: American Masters

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Germany:0 | Singapore:PG | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

The last film (documentary) directed by Sydney Pollack.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Columbo" (1971)See more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Pollack on Gehry: An Intimate Dialogue Between Friends Yields True Insight Into the Architecture Icon, 28 August 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

Even though I have since seen the Experience Music Project in Seattle and the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, I was first taken by Frank Gehry's work when I accidentally came upon the eye-catching "Fred and Ginger" building in Prague in 1999, an eccentric juxtaposition of a cylindrical concrete building and a free-flowing glass tower that does indeed look like the classic dancing pair. Director Sydney Pollack has taken time out of his commercial film-making to make a mostly winning documentary about his close friend, the world-renowned architect. It's a warm and low-key look at Gehry's creative process which obviously parallels Pollack's own. In fact, the film is structured as an intimate conversation between the two and the joy of the film comes from the unexpected revelations that only happen between friends, in particular, how Gehry broke with tradition at an early age to design wildly original buildings that people either abhor or revere.

With a relative minimum of his own narcissism, Pollack is able to convey Gehry as a curious mix of self-effacing outsider and proud non-conformist and uses not only Gehry's own musings but the perspectives of others to provide evidence of both sides of the man. Not too surprisingly, Gehry's long-time therapist Milton Wexler provides the most perceptive comments about his patient's internal creative struggles, but there are also insightful remarks from Gehry's colleague, the late Philip Johnson; Herbert Muschamp of the New York Times; and architecture critic Hal Foster, the only one to offer a dissenting view of Gehry's work.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to broaden the audience for his film, Pollack has also included several celebrities, whose opinions about Gehry border on the banal, for example, film industry heavyweights Michael Ovitz, Michael Eisner and Barry Diller; Dennis Hopper who lives in a Gehry-designed house; and Bob Geldof who just happened upon Gehry's to pass by the Vitra Design Museum while on tour. Director Julian Schnabel provides some funny moments as he shows up in a bathrobe, sunglasses and with a brandy snifter, especially as he talks about the audacity of Gehry's work and makes a classic analogy with Robert Duvall's performance in "Apocalypse Now".

However, the best moments are Gehry at work with his design partners Craig Webb and Edwin Chan, as they innocently start designs with construction paper and a pair of scissors. Pollack's cinematic skills come into play when he showcases the designs of Gehry's most famous buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA and the DG Bank Building in Berlin. With long takes and compositions set against adjacent buildings, we can appreciate what Gehry was trying to achieve in making his designs compatible with the environs. Instead of the montage provided in the film, a more comprehensive and annotated image catalogue of his work would have been more helpful in order to understand the changes in Gehry's designs as his career progressed. Other than previews for several recent documentaries, the only extra on the 2006 DVD is an illuminating half-hour Q&A session with Pollack moderated by director Alexander Payne.

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