My Architect

My Architect

Cast: Louis I. Kahn

     
 

My Architect is filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn's intimate exploration of his father's life. Louis Kahn, the renowned architect, was found dead in Penn Station in 1974. He died in massive debt. His obituary in The New York Times mentioned Kahn's importance to modern architecture, but did not mention that he had a son. As it turned out, very few people knew that Louis…  See more details below

Overview

My Architect is filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn's intimate exploration of his father's life. Louis Kahn, the renowned architect, was found dead in Penn Station in 1974. He died in massive debt. His obituary in The New York Times mentioned Kahn's importance to modern architecture, but did not mention that he had a son. As it turned out, very few people knew that Louis Kahn led a kind of double life. He had a wife and daughter, but he also had two other children by two mistresses. Nathaniel traces his father's past, from his childhood to his prominence in the world of architecture. He interviews Louis' peers, including Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, and I.M. Pei. He also interviews his own mother and his two half sisters. The filmmaker tries to reconcile his father's prestige with his financial ruin, and his passion for his work with his insensitive treatment of the women in his life and the children he fathered. He also travels the globe examining his father's legacy -- the buildings he designed throughout the world. My Architect was shown at New Directors/New Films in 2003.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Nathaniel Kahn's My Architect is a fascinating and moving document of the filmmaker's quest to understand his father's life and work. As Kahn's father was the historically important architect Louis Kahn, the film's exploration offers both a valuable look at late-20th century architecture and a deeply personal search, as Nathaniel tries to fathom why his father lived the way he did, forsaking his personal and financial responsibilities. Far from a hagiography, My Architect is critical, not only of the way Louis lived his life (not just his home life, but his inability to work well with others) but of some of the architect's heralded buildings as well. However, as Nathaniel travels the country, and the world, filming his father's buildings, and interviewing his associates, we get a clearer sense of the man's genius. From both an emotional and architectural standpoint, the film's highlight is when Nathaniel travels to Bangladesh to see the monumental, genuinely awe-inspiring capital his father designed for the impoverished nation in Dakha, which was not completed until nine years after Louis' death. As Bangladeshi architect Shamsul Wares tearfully explains to Nathaniel, "He gave us the institution for democracy." Louis Kahn's great work does not excuse his personal failings, but his story makes for an absorbing and thought-provoking film.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2005
UPC:
0717119901547
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Yorker Video
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:56:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Question and answer with director Nathaniel Kahn including extra scenes and rare historical footage of Louis Kahn; Original theatrical trailer; Scene selections

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nathaniel Kahn Narrator
Louis I. Kahn Actor
Edmund Bacon Interviewee
Philip Johnson Interviewee
Esther Kahn Interviewee
Sue Ann Kahn Interviewee
Harriet Pattison Interviewee
I.M. Pei Interviewee
Alexandra Tyng Interviewee
Anne Tyng Interviewee
Shamsul Wares Interviewee

Technical Credits
Nathaniel Kahn Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Susan Rose Behr Executive Producer
Andrew Clayman Executive Producer
Darrell Friedman Executive Producer
Robert Guzzardi Executive Producer
John Hochroth Associate Producer
Harold Honickman Executive Producer
Lynne Honickman Executive Producer
Phyllis Freed Kaufman Associate Producer
Sabine Krayenbuehl Editor
Judy Moon Associate Producer
Eddie O'Connor Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Richman Cinematographer
Joseph Vitarelli Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Beginnings...
2. Looking in Philadelphia
3. Heading West
4. The Immigrant
5. Dreams of a Better City
6. Going to Sea
7. The Truth About the Bastard
8. The Nomad
9. Family Matters
10. The End of the Journey
11. Credits

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