Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005)

Straight up architecture porn! Filmed by friend (and Oscar-winning director) Sydney Pollack, this documentary is less a critical look at a controversial modern artist, than a handheld video love poem to Gehry and his vision.

But what a vision! The sight of Gehry at home in his workshop of like-minded designers is a fascinating glimpse into one man’s singular creative process. Gehry comes off less like a mad genius than the smart kid on the block who just happens to own the biggest Erector Set ever made. To his credit, Gehry is willing to share his toys (and to a lesser extent, the limelight), all while creating some of the most interesting buildings of the late 20th–early 21st century.

Pollack does allow one of Gehry’s biggest detractors screen time, but whether through creative editing or the man’s attitude, he comes off like a pompous ass, and his comments smack of sour grapes.

The film captures some of Gehry’s best-known buildings reflecting and reacting to their surroundings; the interplay of the light and curvilinear forms beautifully illustrates just what the point of all this fuss really is.

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