Join Modernism Week and Design Onscreen for the 3rd Annual Architecture + Design Film Series,

February 19 – 24, 2011

Celebrate the best in films on architecture and design at Palm Springs Modernism Week 2011. Twelve outstanding films grace this year’s expanded roster, with six afternoon screenings (2:30pm) and five evening showings (7:30pm), all at the Riviera Palm Springs, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive. All evening screenings will feature post-screening Q&A sessions with directors, producers and design experts. See below for a complete schedule and descriptions of the films. For tickets, please visit


Desert Utopia: Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs

(2010, Director Jake Gorst, 58 minutes)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom

Desert Utopia traces the origins of midcentury architecture in Palm Springs. Jake Gorst’s film brings alive landmark structures by Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, William Cody and William Krisel and features never-before-seen archival footage of the architects and construction.

William Krisel, Architect

(2010, Director Jake Gorst, 85 minutes)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
William Krisel in-person for post-screening Q&A and to sign the newly-released DVD of the film!

Over the course of his sixty-year career, architect William Krisel brought modernism to the masses, designing more than 40,000 individual housing units across the U.S. “I’m a firm believer that good modern design can make your life happier, more productive and more enjoyable,” says Krisel. The film will be followed by an exclusive DVD release party with William Krisel in person and available for autographs at 4:00pm.

California Premiere!

Contemporary Days – The Designs of Lucienne & Robin Day

(2010, Director Murray Grigor, 70 minutes)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 7:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Executive Producers Kirk Brown & Jill Wiltse in person for post-screening Q&A!

Robin and Lucienne Day, one of England’s most glamorous couples, transformed British design after World War II. His elegant furniture and her striking textiles signaled a new era of modernist designs for everyday living. Robin’s stacking polypropylene chair endures as an icon and today even graces a Royal Mail postage stamp. Lucienne’s abstract textile designs brought accessible elegance into the homes of postwar British consumers.


Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner

(2008, Director Murray Grigor, 90 minutes)
Monday February 21, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Architectural Historian and Author Alan Hess in-person for post-screening Q&A!

“The purpose of architecture,” said John Lautner, “is to create timeless, free, joyous spaces for all activities in life.” Infinite Space traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” Director Murray Grigor explores Lautner’s dramatic spaces with choreographed camera moves, as Lautner himself provides the commentary via archival recordings.

Oscar Niemeyer, A Vida E Um Sopro (Life is a Breath)

(2007, Fabiano Maciel, 90 minutes, English subtitles)
Monday February 21, 2011, 7:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Architectural Historian and Author Alan Hess in person for post-screening Q&A!

Oscar Niemeyer is one of the most important figures in international modern architecture—and in 2010, he turned 102. In this film, a candid and funny Niemeyer rarely seen, reflects on his long life and prolific output, including New York’s United Nations building and multiple structures for Brazil’s capital city, Brasília.

Desert Holiday

(2008, Director Peter Moruzzi, 52 minutes)
Tuesday February 21, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom

Desert Holiday is a humorous and informative historical tour of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley as seen through colorful vintage postcards. A fabulous 1960s Palm Springs radio jingle accompanies a vintage postcard tour of “America’s Foremost Desert Resort” and narrated by architectural historian Peter Moruzzi.

Space, Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm

(2010, Directors Laura Harrison and Elizabeth Federici, 78 minutes)
Tuesday February 22, 7:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Director Beth Federici in person for post-screening Q&A!

Most recognized for the iconic Texas land-art piece, Cadillac Ranch, the 1970s art/architecture collective Ant Farm questioned the boundaries of architecture and everything else in the process. This is the first film to delve into the work of these renegade explorers in both architecture and performance art.  Radical architects, video pioneers, and mordantly funny cultural commentators, the Ant Farmers created a body of deeply subversive work that presaged today’s cultural landscape.


Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler

(2009, Jake Gorst, 68 minutes)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Donald Wexler pioneered commercial and residential steel construction using steel and applied his groundbreaking techniques to hundreds of structures, including the Palm Springs Airport, the Contemporary Resort at Disneyworld, and projects for clients such as Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra. Today his work provides inspiration for a new generation of architects. Winner of the coveted Audience Award in the Art, Architecture and Design Category at the 2010 Newport Beach Film Festival.


Art & Copy

(2009, Director Doug Pray, 89 minutes)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 7:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Director Doug Pray in person for post-screening Q&A!

Art & Copy is a powerful film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray, it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time – people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry.  The film features the story of Braniff Airlines’ transformation from staid air carrier to swinging sixties design icon as conjured by advertising’s creative legend, Mary Wells. This film will screen on opening night of the exhibition of Braniff Airlines’ stewardess uniforms at the Riviera.


Studio Gang Architects: Aqua Tower (2009, Tom Piper, 27 minutes) and
Hella Jongerius: Contemporary Archetypes (2009, Amie Knox, 30 minutes)

Thursday February 24, 2011, 2:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom

This double feature spotlights two films on the world’s brightest women designers. Studio Gang Architects explores the design process of one of architecture’s newest rising stars –Jeanne Gang, creator of Chicago’s ground-breaking 82-story Aqua Tower building. Hella Jongerius profiles one of the most innovative and creative designers working today. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius explores new visions for design, craft, art and technology in her products for everyday life.

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio

(2010, Director Sam Wainwright Douglas, 60 minutes)
Thursday February 24, 2011, 7:30pm at the Riviera Hotel Ballroom
Director Sam Douglas in person for post-screening Q&A!

Hale County, Alabama is home to some of America’s most impoverished people. It’s also home to Auburn University’s Rural Studio, one of the country’s most prolific and inspirational design-build architecture programs. Citizen Architect chronicles the late Samuel Mockbee – artist, architect, educator, and founder of the Rural Studio. Sam Douglas’ film premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.