Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (2017) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
4 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Very Insightful Documentary
larrys39 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This documentary on the acclaimed Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen is part of the PBS American Masters series.

Eero's son Eric Saarinen, who is an accomplished cinematographer himself, and Director of Photography in this film, narrates part of the doc, often appearing in it as he photographs some of the brilliant works of his father, and explains some of the history behind them. He calls the movie a cathartic experience and a chance to forgive his father for being obsessed with his work, often an absentee parent, and one whom he describes as abandoning Eric, his sister Susan, and his mother Lilian.

The movie clearly shows us the genius of Eero Saarinen's architectural design and structure, his sweeping and futuristic structures both inside and out, and how he tried to emotionally connect his work to the people that would view them. These works would include the Gateway Arch, in St.Louis, Missouri, the TWA terminal at JFK Airport in NYC, the Dulles Airport terminal in Washington, D.C., and such corporate headquarters' complexes and buildings for General Motors, Deere & Company, and CBS.

Some of Eero Saarinen's masterworks remained uncompleted at the time of his death in 1961, at the young age of 51 from a brain tumor. However, his second wife Aline, who was an art and architectural critic for the New York Times, insured that his projects would be completed the way he desired them to be.

All in all, I thought this documentary offered a very insightful look into the life and mind of a brilliant and bold architect, whose influence remains strong to this very day.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Stunning in 6K
skinnymanny16 March 2017
I saw this in a 6K high-def on a big screen during Palm Springs' Modernism Week in 2017. There is a good amount of family history (Eero's father was also a great architect) that gives this film more depth than a typical documentary. Eero's son Eric was director of photography and his sensitive portrayals of Saarinen's buildings made with modern drone cameras is as close to "dancing with architecture" as you're going to find. A must for architecture buffs. The only quibble I have is with the narration, it is a little heavy-handed at times.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
gjducas13 October 2018
The filming is excellent and some shots are very high quality.

However, it would be a much better film to spend more time on Architecture and theory. This easily could be a 2 hour film if there was a review of the design theory and in depth look at some projects; and a much better film. The house projects was scanned over in seconds with nothing to say about design.

There is not much on film about eero; and PBS doesn't know much about architecture; eero is on the cover of Time, but not in history since the filming of his work and review is so scant. Remembered in his time and known, then forgotten. Better than nothing, this is a small start.

It claims some family history but leaves much out. what about the relationship with knoll? Still what about design? Eero's connection to jorn Utzon?

I made my contribution by having the local library buy a copy of this film.

I give this an 8 out of respect for eero, however it could be a 10, and lack of understanding about architecture and what is important to discuss could make it a 5. My frustration with it is 0.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Amazing Documentary!
info-269-53444731 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Peter Rosen Productions and PBS have created a moving documentary tribute to one the great minds of our modern world. Having seen many of the buildings in the film in real life or in photos from college study, we were deeply stirred by the genius of the designs, the depth of the risks involved with unconventional architecture and Mr. Saarinen's future-minded construction.

Spending time at the St. Louis Arch was a favorite pastime while living in Missouri. Touching the giant chrome and steel surface at ground level, one can feel the hum of the wind, the vibrations of the earth, and the static electricity connecting the ground with the metal skin.

His premature death is a sad footnote to his legacy, having never seen in reality, many of the finished products of his labors. His wife took it on to see things through, and we commend her for that. Next to every great man is a great woman, in support. Thankfully.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed