SAGRADA: THE MYSTERY OF CREATION | September 21st, 2016
Directed by Stefan Haupt
2012, Germany, 89 Minutes
One of the most iconic structures ever conceived, Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia is an astonishing architectural project first imagined by Antoni Gaudi in the late 19th century. Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation celebrates his vision while exploring the continuing work of the thousands of artisans and laborers as they strive to complete the colossal basilica. The film captures the basilica’s quiet ambiance as it peers into nooks and crannies and listens to those who have devoted their lives to work on it. This unhurried, meticulous investigation allows the viewer time to observe, perceive, and reflect upon the historical and spiritual significance of this glorious landmark while gaining deep insight into the ongoing process of artistic creation.
AN ART THAT NATURE MAKES: THE ART OF ROSAMOND PURCELL | October 12th, 2016
Directed by Molly Bernstein
2016, USA, 75 Minutes
Artist Rosamond Purcell creates collages of natural objects: bones, feathers, leaves, fossils, and found objects: distressed books, industrial scrap, cast-off objects, and imbues them with life through her photography. Among her many books are three with scientist Stephen Jay Gould, in which her visuals and his words complement one another. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, one of Purcell’s admirers, extolls her ability to reveal “the hidden history of the world” and to “find art in really strange places.” Bernstein’s portrait reveals an artist whose work defies our basest materialist impulses and celebrates the beauty of decay, the poetry of destruction, and the ineffable effects of time – on everything.
WATERMARK | November 9th
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky
2013, Canada, 93 Minutes
Watermark brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. Massive floating farms off China’s Fujian coast, the biggest arch dam in the world, the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka. We witness how humans are drawn to water, from surfing in Huntington Beach to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, where thirty million people gather for a sacred bath in the Ganges. We speak with scientists who drill ice cores two kilometers deep into the Greenland Ice Sheet, and roam the sublime pristine watersheds of Northern British Columbia. This film stunningly shows water as a terraforming element and the scale of its reach, as well as the magnitude of our need and use.
SPINNING PLATES | December 7th
Directed by Joseph Levy
2013, USA, 93 Minutes
Spinning Plates is a documentary about three extraordinary restaurants and the incredible people who bring them to life. A world-renowned chef competes for the ultimate restaurant prize in Chicago, while privately battling a life-threatening condition. A 150-year-old restaurant in Iowa is still standing only because of an unbreakable bond with the community. And a fledgling Mexican restaurant in Tucson struggles as its owners risk everything to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another.
TROUBLEMAKERS: THE STORY OF LAND ART | January 25th, 2016
Directed by James Crump
2016, USA, 72 Minutes
Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative); and others. In making works that can never be possessed as an object in a gallery, these troublemakers stand in marked contrast to the hyper-speculative contemporary art world of today – they were exploring a larger canvas to work on while simultaneously seeking to create works that induced awe in the viewer, thus producing a new kind of pilgrimage and a new kind of visceral viewing experience.
ONE BIG HOME | February 15th, 2016
Directed by Thomas Bena
2016, USA, 82 Minutes
Trophy homes are threatening the unique character of Martha’s Vineyard. Ten, fifteen, even twenty-thousand-square-foot houses are going up around the Island. These mansions stand in stark contrast to the traditional small cottages and most sit empty for ten months a year, yet are heated year round. When he feels he is complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, one carpenter takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Bumping up against tired clichés, angry homeowners, and builders who look the other way, he works with his community and attempts to pass a new bylaw that limits house size. A compelling and relevant film to all communities grappling with development and “responsible” community growth.
FALLINGWATER: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S MASTERWORK | March 22nd, 2016
Directed by Kenneth Love
2011, USA, 56 Minutes
Fallingwater, the Edgar J. Kaufmann house, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1934 and 1937. Considered the greatest American house of this century, it is sited on a spectacular waterfall in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Fallingwater features rare home movies of Mr. Wright and Mr. Kaufmann and features personal accounts by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., who was also a Wright apprentice, in which he relates how the house came to be, describes special features of the house, describes in detail the extraordinary building as well as the events that led to Mr. Wright’s commission. Fallingwater is the definitive film on the greatest creation of America’s greatest architect. A real visual treat comes with Fallingwater’s depiction in all four seasons.
VISUAL ACOUSTICS: THE MODERNISM OF JULIUS SHULMAN | April 19th
Directed by Eric Bricker
2009, USA, 84 Minutes
Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Shulman captured the work of nearly every modern and progressive architect since the 1930s including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California’s modernist movement and brought its iconic structures to the attention of the general public. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of the magnetic, whip-smart gentleman who chronicled it with his unforgettable images.
DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO: REIMAGINING LINCOLN CENTER AND THE HIGH LINE | September 30th, 2015
Directed by Muffie Dunn & Tom Piper
2012, USA, 54 Minutes
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has long been at the forefront of design. The interdisciplinary design firm, founded in 1979, first stirred interest with its provocative exhibitions of theoretically based projects that blurred the boundaries between art and architecture. In 1999, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, were awarded the prestigious “genius” grant by the MacArthur Foundation, in recognition of their commitment to integrating architecture with issues of contemporary culture.
With the almost simultaneous completion of two large-scale projects in New York City – the renovation of the High Line and revitalization and expansion of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – Diller Scofidio + Renfro has galvanized the public’s attention. Between 2004 and 2011, the firm, in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations, converted the derelict High Line railroad tracks on the city’s West Side into a sophisticated 1.5 mile elevated urban park.
From early 2003 to 2010, DS+R redesigned Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School, built a free-standing, grass-covered pavilion that houses a destination restaurant (the Lincoln) and a public lawn, and inventively modified the public spaces connecting the complex’s existing buildings. As architecture critic Martin Filler states in the film, “Both the High Line and Lincoln Center have had a really euphoric effect on life in New York. So it’s populism of a very high order.”
MAKER: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE MAKER MOVEMENT | October 21, 2015
Directed by Mu-Ming Tsai
2011, USA, 65 Minutes
“Maker” is a feature-length documentary that looks into the current maker movement in America – a new wave of Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together fueled by passion and powered by the advance of new technologies.
The “Maker Movement”, sometimes called the “Third Industrial Revolution,” subverts traditional manufacturing by building on innovative concepts such as open source, local manufacturing, crowd funding, and digital fabrication. Breaking the hobbyist movement stereotype, “Maker” delves deep into this ecosystem of design and manufacturing in the Internet era. The film explores the ideas, tools, and personalities that are driving the Maker Movement – and returns with a timely snapshot of one of the transforming influences of the current age.
The film includes extensive interviews of key figures behind headline-making projects, daily practitioners, and observers of the movement and presents insights on how it can impact society, culture and the economy in the U.S., and the world.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY | November 4, 2015
Directed by Alison Klayman
2012, Germany, 91 Minutes
Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.
MATISSE: FROM TATE MODERN AND MOMA | December 2, 2015
Seventh Art Productions
MoMA & Tate Modern’s record-breaking show ‘The Cut-Outs’ explores the final chapter of Matisse’s career when he began ‘carving into colour,’ creating his signature cutouts. Audiences are invited to enjoy an intimate, behind-the-scenes documentary about this blockbuster exhibition with contributions from curators, historians and those who knew Matisse personally.
Filmed at both Tate Modern and MoMA the film reflects the preparation and exhibition of Matisse’s simple but sophisticated cut-outs. Special attention is given to the conservation work of MoMA’s treasured ‘The Swimming Pool’ by Matisse.
Beautifully filmed footage of the exhibition is interwoven with Matisse’s biography, behind-the-scenes material, and sequences featuring special guests including Tate director Nicholas Serota; MoMA director Glenn Lowry; jazz musician Courtney Pine and Royal Ballet principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky. Acclaimed British actor Simon Russell Beale brings insight and emotion to the words of Henri Matisse, while actor Rupert Young narrates.
CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE: SALK INSTITUTE, OSLO OPERA HOUSE, CENTRE POMPIDOU | January 27, 2016
Directed by Robert Redford, Margreth Olin, and Karim Ainouz
2013, Germany, 82 Minutes
“If buildings could talk, what would they say about us?” The new 3D film project Cathedrals of Culture offers a series of startling responses, allowing six iconic and very different buildings – the Berlin Philharmonic, the National Library of Russia, Halden Prison, the Salk Institute, the Oslo Opera House and the Centre Pompidou – to speak for themselves. Six filmmakers – Wim Wenders, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Robert Redford, Margreth Olin and Karim Aïnouz – bring their own distinctive visual style and artistic approach to the project, showing how buildings are material manifestations of human thought and action and exploring how each of these landmarks reflects our culture and guards our collective memory. This year’s screening will present three of the six buildings: Salk Institure, Oslo Opera House and Centre Pompidou.
GRAY MATTERS | February 24, 2016
Directed by Marco Antonio Orsini
2014, USA, 72 Minutes
Gray Matters explores the long, fascinating life and complicated career of architect and designer Eileen Gray, whose uncompromising vision defined and defied the practice of modernism in decoration, design and architecture. Making a reputation with her traditional lacquer work in the first decade of the 20th century, she became a critically acclaimed and sought after designer and decorator in the next before reinventing herself as an architect, a field in which she laboured largely in obscurity. Apart from the accolades that greeted her first building -persistently and perversely credited to her mentor-her pioneering work was done quietly, privately and to her own specifications. But she lived long enough (98) to be re-discovered and acclaimed. Today, with her work commanding extraordinary prices and attention, her legacy, like its creator, remains elusive, contested and compelling.
SIGN PAINTERS | March 23, 2016
Directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon
We see them almost every day without a second thought. Weathered by time, distinct characteristics shining through, hand-painted signs are a product of a fascinating 150 year-old American history. What was once a common job has now become a highly specialized trade, a unique craft struggling with technological advances. Sign Painters, directed by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, stylistically explores this unacknowledged art form through anecdotal accounts from artists across the country including Ira Coyne, Bob Dewhurst, Keith Knecht, Norma Jeane Maloney and Stephen Powers. These vanguards of unseen originality are leading a renaissance with a keen creative purpose and exemplify the working class American success story. Sign Painters celebrates those keeping the tradition intact with a bespoke approach and appreciation for a balance between art and commerce.
PAOLO SOLERI: BEYOND FORM | April 27, 2016
Directed by Aimee Madsen
2013, USA, 80 Minutes
Beyond Form is a cinéma vérité style documentary, that presents a fresh and intimate look at the legendary and multi talented artist, philosopher, urban theorist and architect Paolo Soleri. A man who had a dream to create an environment in harmony with man. This film focuses on how his body of work has inspired thousands of people over the years and why his technique and concepts have staying power. You’ll see why Soleri was green before “green” and “sustainable” ever entered the world lexicon. The lean approach has been a theme that was present through out Soleri’s life. Filmmaker Aimee Madsen created this documentary much in the spirit of Soleri’s style of frugality, doing more with less.
OBJECTIFIED | September 30th, 2014
by Gary Hustwit, 2009
Swiss, 75 minutes
Objectified is a documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and the people who design them. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves? Objectified encourages us to stop and notice our surroundings and to think critically about creativity and consumption – how can good, intentional design make these manufactured objects – and by extension our lives – better?
MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES | October 21st, 2014
by Jennifer Baichwal, 2006
Canada, 86 minutes
Jennifer Baichwal’s cameras document artist and photographer Edward Burtynsky’s explorations of Manufactured Landscapes to slag heaps, e-waste dumps, huge factories in China, dams, quarries, and a ship graveyard in Bangladesh. Burtynsky’s stunning and beautiful photographs of our civilization’s materials and debris raise intriguing and probing questions about the ethics and aesthetics of Manufactured Landscapes across the globe.
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037 | November 18th, 2014
by Ben Niles, 2007
USA, 81 minutes
Note By Note is an independent documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand piano, #L1037, from forest floor to concert hall. It explores the relationship between musician and instrument, chronicles the manufacturing process, and illustrates what makes each Steinway unique in this age of mass production. The most thoroughly handcrafted instruments in the world, Steinway pianos are as unique and full of personality as the world-class musicians who play them.
MICROTOPIA | December 16th, 2014
by Jesper Wachtmeister, 2013
Sweden, 55 minutes
Microtopia presents dreams of life in small, mobile or temporary spaces. Successful architects, builders and artists from different parts of the world propose radical solutions, all unnecessary things are removed, and seemingly old and worn-out items are utilized. Behind this is a simple question: How much space, stuff and comfort do we really need? Whether building islands from garbage, tents hanging from trees, micro-homes on wheels, residential sleeping pods or experimental urban parasitic architecture, they are united by the effort to find ways to form new communities without environmental consequences. This film explores how individuals are pushing the limits to find answers to their dreams of portability, flexibility – and of creating independence from “the grid”. On the sidewalk, on rooftops, in industrial landscapes and in nature we learn how these abodes meet the dreams set up by their creators. Microtopia deals with contemporary ideas that are addressed, and solved, in very surprising ways.
FIRST PERSON SINGULAR: I.M. PEI | January 20th, 2015
by Peter Rosen, 1997
USA, 90 minutes
Though known as a modernist, Pei has rejected the implications of globalism inherent in the “International Style,” instead advocating contextual development and variation in style. He has commented that “the important distinction is between a stylistic approach to the design; and an analytical approach giving the process of due consideration to time, place, and purpose.” This acclaimed documentary chronicles the life and work of I.M. Pei whose projects include the famous pyramid entrance at the Louvre, the Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pei’s personal reflections about his life and approach to design accompany the beautiful footage of his projects in addition to critical commentary that reflects on the true impact and importance of his work.
16 ACRES | February 17th, 2015
by Richard Hankin, 2012
USA, 95 minutes
The rebuilding of ground zero is one of the most architecturally, politically, and emotionally complex urban renewal projects in American history. From the beginning, the effort has been fraught with controversy, delays and politics. The struggle has encompassed eleven years, nineteen government agencies, a dozen projects and over $20 billion. What will emerge in downtown Manhattan over the next few years will redefine the city – and the country – for generations. 16 Acres is the story of how and why this historic project got built. At the heart of the story is the dramatic tension between noblest intentions, the desire of everyone involved to “get it right,” and the politics, hubris, ego and ideology that is the bedrock of New York City. What does it say about us as New Yorkers, as Americans?
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: THE IMPASSIONED EYE | March 24th, 2015
by Heinza Butler, 2003
Swiss, 73 minutes
Upon his death in 2004, photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was mourned as “the father of photojournalism.” This documentary offers a rare moment alone with the camera-shy photographer as he explores his portfolio and offers detailed insight into the remarkable images that have moved millions. Focusing in particular on Cartier-Bresson’s widely acclaimed work from the period ranging from the ’40s through the ’60s, director Heinz Bütler explores the stories behind the photographer’s stunning images of such historical events as the death of Gandhi and the liberation of Paris.
STRANGE & FAMILIAR: ARCHITECTURE ON FOGO ISLAND | April 14th, 2015
by Kathleen Knight and David Craig, 2013
Canada, 60 minutes
In a rapidly urbanized world what does the future hold for traditional rural societies? As Fogo Island, a small community off the coast of Newfoundland struggles to sustain its unique way of life in the face of a collapse of its cod fishing industry, architect Todd Saunders and social entrepreneur Zita Cobbs’ vision for positive change result in the envisioning, designing and building of strikingly original architecture that will become a catalyst for social change. Experience this staggeringly beautiful place and how the community and local workers together with Saunders and Cobb, come together and play a role in this creative process during a time of optimism and uncertain hope. Change is coming to Fogo Island.
URBANIZED | September 17th, 2013
by Gary Hustwit, 2011
Swiss, 85 minutes
Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. Urbanized looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design – the balancing of housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are universal concerns. From Paris to New York to Mumbai to Rio de Janeiro, from the bike lanes of Bogota to the walkways threading through the townships of Cape Town – what comes, what goes, what grows. Who shapes our cities, and how? Exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.
MAYA LIN: A STRONG CLEAR VISION | October 15th, 2013
by Freida Lee Mack, 1994 (Oscar for Best Documentary)
USA, 105 minutes
This Academy award winning film profiles the career of Maya Lin, a young artist whose winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC became a national controversy and has since evolved to become a vision for hope and positive change in the world. The film chronicles her maturation from an emerging young enthusiastic 20-year old into a mature and articulate artist who continues to thoughtfully approach politically motivated artistic creations.
EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER | November 12th, 2013
by Jason Cohen and Bill Jersey, 2011
USA, 82 minutes
The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America’s most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mind bending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life – from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age – has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film since their death dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.
UNFINISHED SPACES | December 3rd, 2013
by Alysa Nahmias, 2011
USA, 86 minutes
In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream.
RIVERS AND TIDES | January 21, 2014
by Thomas Riedelsheimer, 2002
Depicting the magical relationship between art and nature while painting a visually intoxicating portrait of artist Andy Goldsworthy, RIVERS AND TIDES follows the bohemian free spirit all over the world as he demonstrates and discusses his creative process and artistic philosophies. From his long-winding rock walls and icicle sculptures to his interlocking leaf chains and multicolored pools of flowers, Goldsworthy’s painstakingly intricate masterpieces are made entirely of materials found in Mother Nature – an unpredictable “critic” who threatens and often succeeds in destroying his art, sometimes before it is even finished. RIVERS AND TIDES is a mesmerizing cinematic experience that helps us to appreciate design and nature in new and enchanting ways.
IF YOU BUILD IT | February 11th, 2014
by Patrick Creadon, 2013
If You Build It spends a year in the life of one of America’s most innovative classrooms. Starring Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, founders of Project H Design, which is dedicated to design initiatives for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness. The film chronicles 13 high school juniors in Bertie County, NC throughout the school year where Emily and Matt will be teaching the fundamentals of design, architecture, and construction. Together with “design-build” fundamentals, the students will be learning the principles of “design thinking” – a very specific way of looking at problems to determine how best to solve them: Research, Ideate, Develop, Prototype, Refine, and Build. Their goal is that the students will leave Studio H equipped to tackle virtually any problem they will face throughout their lives.
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR BUILDING WEIGH, MR. FOSTER? | March 18th, 2014
by Carlos Carcas & Norberto Lopez Amado, 2010
Spain, 78 minutes
The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. Portrayed are Foster’s origins and how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the largest building in the world Beijing Airport, the Reichstag, the Hearst Building in New York and works such as the tallest bridge ever in Millau France. In the very near future, the majority of mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Foster offers some striking solutions to the problems that this historic event will create.
COAST MODERN | April 22nd, 2014
by Mike Bernard and Gaviin Froome, 2012
USA, 55 minutes
Traveling along the Pacific North West coastline from LA to Vancouver, this relaxed journey takes us across three generations of Modernist architecture, all taking us back to the basics of true living – a sense of place, light, and a deep connection to the earth. Dion Neutra tells us that the way to live is to have “the comfort of being inside, yet you have the feeling of being outside”, and it is this established principle that contemporary Modernist architects are emulating and evolving today.