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Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974.

Director:

Nathaniel Kahn

Writer:

Nathaniel Kahn
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Edmund Bacon Edmund Bacon ... Himself
Edwina Pattison Daniels Edwina Pattison Daniels ... Aunt Eddie
Balkrishna Doshi Balkrishna Doshi ... Himself (as B.V. Doshi)
Frank Gehry ... Himself (as Frank O. Gehry)
Philip Johnson Philip Johnson ... Himself
Louis Kahn Louis Kahn ... Himself (archive footage)
Nathaniel Kahn ... Himself
Sue Ann Kahn Sue Ann Kahn ... Herself
Haym Richard Katz ... Richard Katz
Teddy Kollek Teddy Kollek ... Himself
Harriet Pattison Harriet Pattison ... Herself
Priscilla Pattison Priscilla Pattison ... Aunt Posie
I.M. Pei I.M. Pei ... Himself
Moshe Safdie Moshe Safdie ... Himself
Robert A.M. Stern Robert A.M. Stern ... Himself
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Storyline

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 <dr@martinlewison.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A man. His buildings. His secret life. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mimar babam - Bir ogulun yolculugu See more »

Filming Locations:

Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,929, 16 November 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,748,981, 1 August 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Louis Kahn: A work of art... is not a living thing... that walks or runs. But the making of a life. That which gives you a reaction. To some it is the wonder of man's fingers. To some it is the wonder of the mind. To some it is the wonder of technique. And to some it is how real it is. To some, how transcendent it is. Like the 5th Symphony, it presents itself with a feeling that you know it, if you have heard it once. And you look for it, and though you know it you must hear it again. Though you know it ...
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Connections

Referenced in Match Point (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Not really about Louis Kahn
24 June 2004 | by yourfriendSee all my reviews

The problem with this film is also its most interesting asset -- the filmmaker. The film sheds little light on Louis Kahn's character or his architectural abilities, and it says basically nothing about architecture whatsoever, so if you are looking for a film about architecture, move along.

Beyond a great number of shots of Lou's sometimes beautiful, sometimes unpleasant buildings, this film is not about architecture.

What it is about, and what it excels in portraying, is a man's search for a father he lost in his youth and with whose ghost he has not yet made peace. Nathaniel Kahn has not made himself a very likable character, and for that I suppose one must respect him. He wavers between cloying innocence and childish sullenness and smugness. I think especially of his near falling-out with his mother. He comes across as downright cruel in not allowing his mother her idealizations and delusions about Lou's intentions toward her. Watching this film, the viewer does see the damage losing a parent does to a young child. Nathaniel is stunted and boyish, and sweet in an altogether unlikeable way. The Nathaniel we are given in this movie haunted by his father and his inability to understand him or to resolve his feelings toward him.

Little Kahn does have a number of interesting interviews with the people who knew his father; it's an interesting study of how greatly people are affected by a single person, how disparate their recollections of the person are, and also, how similar they sometimes are too. Apart from a few biographical facts, this film could have been about anyone who was greatly loved and deeply complicated (i.e., about a quarter of the people most of us know). Did it need to be about Lou Kahn to succeed? No.


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