Celebrate the best in films on architecture and design at Palm Springs Modernism Week.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Series and individual screenings are still available. For more information contact or Design Onscreen at info@designonscreen.org or Mark Davis at mrkhdvs@aol.com.

For tickets and more information, please visit www.modernismweek.com. Series Passes are also available.

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN FILM SERIES SCHEDULE

Desert Utopia: Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs

(2010, Director Jake Gorst, 58 minutes)

Sunday February 19, 2012, 12pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
Film + Lunch with Architectural Historian Alan Hess in person
Film + Lunch Tickets: $25

This documentary traces the origins and growth of midcentury architecture in the modernist mecca of Palm Springs, California. The city boasts many landmark buildings by such modernist pioneers as Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, William Cody and William Krisel. Jake Gorst’s film brings these unique structures alive and features never-before-seen archival footage of the architects and construction that makes Palm Springs a unique gem of design in the desert.

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Palm Springs Premiere!

Bird’s Nest: Herzog and de Meuron in China

(2008, Directors Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindhelm, 88 minutes)

Sunday February 19, 2012, 4:30pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
Tickets: $12

BIRD’S NEST chronicles the five-year effort of Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron to complete two massive projects in China: Beijing’s iconic 100,000 seat National Stadium (dubbed the “bird’s nest” by locals) for the 2008 Olympics; and a new city district in Jinhua, involving hotels, office and residential buildings. Both projects involved complex and often difficult negotiations between two cultures, two architectural traditions and two political systems.  The architects work with Chinese artist and architect Ai Wei Wei, China’s largest construction companies and countless government bureaucrats.

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Palm Springs Premiere!

EAMES: The Architect and the Painter

(2011, Directors Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey, 81 minutes)

Sunday February 19, 2012, 7pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
With Director Jason Cohn in person
*Screened in glorious High Definition (RECEPTION to follow)
Tickets:$15

Eames: The Architect and the Painter is first film about Charles and Ray Eames since their deaths and the only film to peer inside their collaboration, their marriage and the “Renaissance studio” they created in a gritty warehouse in Venice, CA. Narrated by James Franco, the film draws from a trove of archival material, primarily the stunning films and photographs produced in mind-boggling volume by Charles, Ray, and their staff during the hyper-creative forty years of the Eames Office. Family members and design historians help guide the story, but it is in interviews with the junior designers swept into the “24-7” world of “The Eamery”, that a fascinatingly complex picture of this husband and wife creative team really emerges.

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William Krisel, Architect

(2010, Director Jake Gorst, 85 minutes)

Monday February 20, 2012, 12pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
Film + Lunch with William Krisel in person
Film + Lunch Tickets: $25

Over the course of his sixty-year career, architect William Krisel has brought modernism to the masses, designing more than 40,000 individual housing units across the U.S. The documentary explores Krisel’s life and work, including his roots in 1930s China, his groundbreaking designs for modern living, and interviews with scholars, his contemporaries and family. “I’m a firm believer that good modern design can make your life happier, more productive and more enjoyable,” says Krisel.

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Palm Springs Premiere!

Urbanized

(2011, Director Gary Hustwit, 85 minutes)

Monday, February 20, 2012, 4:30pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets: $12

Urbanized explores the design of cities and is the third part of Gary Hustwit’s design film trilogy, joining his previous hits, Helvetica and Objectified. The documentary looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain. Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

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Unfinished Spaces

(2011, Directors Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, 86 minutes)

Monday, February 20, 2012, 7pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets: $12

Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece. 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. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school’s first classes soon followed. 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. Unfinished Spaces features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art, and it also documents the struggle and passion of three revolutionary artists.

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Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

(2008, Director Eric Bricker, 83 minutes)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, noon at the Hilton Palm Springs
With Architectural Historian Alan Hess in person
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets: $10

Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. 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.

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Palm Springs Premiere!

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

(2009, Director Wendy Keys, 73 minutes)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 4:30pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
Tickets: $12

For many, Milton Glaser is the personification of American graphic design. Best known for co-founding New York Magazine and the enduring I ♥ NY campaign, the full breadth of Glaser’s remarkable artistic output is revealed in this documentary portrait, Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight. From newspapers and magazine designs, to interior spaces, logos, and brand identities, to his celebrated prints, drawings, posters and paintings, the documentary offers audiences a much richer appreciation for one of the great modern renaissance men. Artfully directed by first-time filmmaker Wendy Keys, the film glances into everyday moments of Glaser’s personal life and capture his immense warmth, humanity and the boundless depth of his intelligence and creativity.

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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

(2010, Directors Norberto Lopez Amado and Carlos Carcas, 73 minutes)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 7:00pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets: $12

This films looks at the architect Sir Norman Foster’s rise from humble beginnings in England to the head of the international firm Foster & Partners. Foster shares his influences and thoughts on the importance of design in bringing people together. The film also lovingly captures some of his most innovative projects: Swiss Re tower, often referred to as “the Gherkin” because of its pickle shape; a 2008 terminal addition at Beijing’s international airport; the world’s tallest bridge in Millau, France; the Great Court at the British Museum in London; Hearst Tower in New York; and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. 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.

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Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler

(2009, Director Jake Gorst, 68 minutes)

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 12pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
Film + Lunch with Donald Wexler and Director Jake Gorst in person
Film + Lunch Tickets: $25

During the 1950s and 60s, Donald Wexler pioneered commercial and residential construction using steel. Wexler applied his groundbreaking techniques and unique style 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. This film won the coveted Audience Award in the Art, Architecture and Design Category at the 2010 Newport Beach Film Festival.

view trailer »


Palm Springs Premiere!

John Portman: A Life of Building

(2011, Director Ben Loeterman, 52 minutes)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 4:30pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets: $12

Once a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects, John Portman is now recognized as one of the most innovative and imitated architects ever. Over 45 years, Portman’s iconic urban statements and eye-popping interiors have risen in 60 cities on four continents to redefine cityscapes in America, and skylines in China and the rest of Asia. The film captures Portman’s approach in an intimate portrait that, by turn, assesses and appreciates Portman’s work. Dramatic time-lapse footage shows off Portman’s buildings at their best—often in moving sunlight that washes over his facades and spaces.


World Premiere Screening!

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

(2012, Director Jake Gorst)

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 7pm at the Hilton Palm Springs
With Director Jake Gorst in person
*Screened in glorious High Definition
Tickets $12

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island explores the work of the region’s best postwar architects and designers, including Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Herbert Beckhard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Horace Gifford, Edward Durrell Stone, Marcel Breuer, Andrew Geller, Philip Johnson, John Hejduk, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski and others. The film features interviews with architects and historians, as well as the friends, families and clients of these influential designers. Both rare archival material and gorgeous current-day cinematography highlight Long Island’s often underappreciated modernist architectural treasures. “Long Island has a rich heritage of midcentury modern architecture,” says Gorst. “Sadly, much of it has disappeared because of redevelopment and natural disaster. We believe the film will foster renewed awareness and appreciation for Long Island’s remaining modernist structures and its unique architectural history.”