Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5Ws of... 2012 Gift Guide, Part One

This holiday season, there’s a W for every design afficianado on your list… Starting with some great videos.  Check back next week for book suggestions, and the following week for gifts that give back to the design community.

What: A look behind the scenes… “Sketches of Frank Gehry”
Acclaimed film director Sydney Pollack took a five-year break from the realms of fiction to assemble a lovingly crafted tribute to longtime friend and acclaimed architect Frank Gehry in this documentary born from the sketches of its talented subject. A notoriously shy craftsman whose impressive body of work includes the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Ghery is shown working in his studio unobstructed as Pollack attempts to capture the very essence of the artist's bold works through use of film and digital video. Driven by an intimate but informal series of discussions between Ghery and Pollack, Sketches of Frank Gehry uses the subject of architecture as a launching point to discuss the creative process, and paints a fascinating portrait of how one humble man was able to create some of the world's most awe-inspiring structures.

Who: The iconic architect…  “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision”
Maya Lin is the young artist who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. This documentary profiles this and her other politically motivated artistic creations. It also chronicles her maturation from a very young, enthusiastic 20-year old artist who, just for a lark, submitted her winning entry in the national contest for would-be designers of the monument, to a mature and articulate artist.

Where: A little place in the country…  “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”
Fed up with crowded big-city living, advertising executive Mr. Blandings (Cary Grant) decides to seek out a big, roomy house in the country. Armed with more enthusiasm than common sense, Blandings causes many a headache for his lawyer/business manager Melvyn Douglas, who tries to keep the costs within a reasonable amount. Alas, Blandings bulls ahead on his own, first purchasing an estate on the verge of collapse, then opting to build his dream house from scratch.

When: Midcentury modern… “Eames: The Architect and the Painter”
Actor James Franco narrates this richly textured documentary on the celebrated husband-and-wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames. In addition to creating extraordinary plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames' also produced everything from children's toys to splints for wounded World War II soldiers.

Why: Because “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”… Auntie Mame
Images and copy courtesy bn.com.