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A privileged, unprecedented inside look at the work of superstar architects and some of their most brilliant creations, produced by the European public television channel ARTE. This series looks at architecture and its historical and social functions to reveal its meaning and impact on humanity.
analyses Frank Lloyd Wright's Johnson Wax building, the innovations of the Galleria Umberto 1, the luxurious Stone Thermal Baths, and a high-speed train station in Satolas. Includes English, French, and German language options. 1995-2001, 136 mins.
GOFF IN THE DESERT
In this unique documentary, German filmmaker Heinz Emigholz presents the work of inventive American architect Bruce Goff. Apprenticed at age 12 but never formally educated as an architect, Goff's work displays a unique style that sets it apart from most 20th-century architecture. The Episcopal Church in Tulsa built in the 1920s is a towering Art Deco icon, while the Hopewell Baptist Church in Edmond resembles a strange futuristic concrete teepee that challenges the surrounding landscape. Through filmed photographs, Emigholz brilliantly exposes the hidden details of Goff's fascinating structures. In German with English subtitles.
Heinz Emigholz---Germany---2003---110 mins.
One of the most recognizable works of American art, Edward Hopper’s painting
encapsulates the alienation and loneliness of the modern urban milieu. His haunting, enigmatic paintings are defined by a hard-edged realism and the presence of isolated figures alone in their thoughts. In life, Hopper was notoriously taciturn and seldom gave interviews or appeared in public. Director Brian O'Doherty, who knew Hopper and his wife, Jo, offers a rare documentary portrait of this aloof artist that is astute and revealing. O’Doherty compares the paintings to the locations that inspired them to suggest the connection between style and subject. Plus, Hopper and Jo are shown in footage from an old television interview, in which the painter is one step this side of mute. Jo often answers for him, a telling detail that says much about their relationship. The film’s subtle combination of observation and interview footage contains a surprising amount of insight and information. “Offers interesting and pragmatic insights and avoids undue presumption or esoteric analysis” (
). “An exquisite portrait of this quiet artist and his world” (
Brian O’Doherty---USA---1981---47 mins.
ISA: THE PEOPLE'S DIVA
Isa Kremer lived life to the fullest as the premier singer of authentic Yiddish songs. The first woman to perform Yiddish songs on the concert stage, she legitimized the language as a valid and vital part of Jewish culture. A classically trained opera star, Isa acted out these folk tunes using her voice, gestures, and mannerisms, offering emotional and dramatic interpretations. Using rare footage, hundreds of photos, and interviews with friends, family members, performers, and scholars,
Isa: The People’s Diva
chronicles Kremer’s life across five decades. Not only did her career parallel some of the 20th-century’s most tumultuous events--the Russian Revolution, the rise of Nazism, and the volatile politics of South America--her career was directly affected by their outcome. Despite personal trauma and political turmoil, Kremer never backed down from controversy, took the easy path, or surrendered to pressure to stop performing in Yiddish.
Isa: The People’s Diva
reclaims the legacy of this complex, passionate woman, who transcended both time and geographic borders, from the lost pages of history. “[Kremer] searches for hidden treasure in the realm of art. She sings with her voice, her body, her eyes, and she captivates with her charm” (
Los Angeles Times
, Dec. 19, 1924).
Ted Schillinger---USA---2000---56 mins.
MR. BING & L'ART NOUVEAU
Award-winning documentarian Francoise Levie specializes in biographies of unique individuals and Siegfried Bing is no exception. Bing was the inspiration and force behind the art movement known as
, promoting artists as diverse and talented as Munch and Toulouse-Lautrec. Levie shows how Bing put his personal stamp on the late 19th century art world by exposing Europe to Asian arts, promoting decorative arts, and handling the work of key artists. In French with English subtitles. Francoise Levie---France---2004---52 mins.
RICK OWENS AND OTHER FILMS BY JAN SHARP
In the touching portrait
Rick, Michele and Scarlett
, filmmaker Jan Sharp offers an inside look at the special relationship of cutting-edge fashion designer Rick Owens and fashion fixture Michele Lamy. Owens’s influential mix of goth and glamour begins in Los Angeles, where he prepares for a Paris showing that will make him an international fashion icon. At the same time, his partner Michele works to open Les Deux Cafe in the heart of L.A.’s gang territory. With the help of her daughter Scarlett, Michele’s daring venture blossoms into a cultural happening place. In their work and life, Rick, Michele and Scarlett embrace “the edge”--pushing into new artistic territories where no one has gone before. Jan Sharp captures their parallel stories with a great deal of intimacy and love. Two other documentaries complete this volume.
Beard: Pecking Order
tracks fashion photographer Peter Beard on location in Africa, shooting the legendary Pirelli calendar with the world’s top fashion models. In
Chasing the President
, Jan travels to East Timor, where President Jose Ramos-Horta tries to build peace in the remote border districts of Asia’s newest nation.
Jan Sharp---USA---2010---169 mins.
SAUDADE DO FUTURO
The music and rhythms of Sao Paulo, Brazil, come alive in this fascinating look at the cantadores, troubadours from Brazil's poorer northern regions who set the streets of the giant city afire with their infectious sounds. Brazilian-born, Paris-based filmmaker Cesar Paes follows the cantadores through the megalopolis and documents their improvised musical poetry and its effects on the city's population. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Cesar Paes---France/Portugal/Brazil/Belgium---2000---94 mins.
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