Kumu Dokumentary on 1 February at 6 PM:
Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future
Director: Peter Rosen
Introduction and Q & A by Eric Saarinen and Mait Väljas.
Explore the life of the Finnish-American modernist architectural giant Eero Saarinen (1910–1961), whose visionary buildings include such National Historic Landmarks as St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan. Saarinen also designed New York’s TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport, Yale University's Ingalls Rink and Morse and Stiles Colleges, Virginia’s Dulles Airport, and modernist pedestal furniture, such as the Tulip chair.
Saarinen’s link to Estonia is through his father Eliel Saarinen, who was the man behind the 1913 general plan of the city of Tallinn, as well as the author of the “Saarinen House” in Pärnu Road, the community centre for Luther Furniture Factory workers, and St. Paul’s Church in Tartu.
Travel with his son, Director of Photography Eric Saarinen, as he visits the sites of his father’s work on a cathartic journey, shot in 6K with the latest in drone technology that showcases the architect’s body of timeless work for the first time. Eero’s sudden death at age 51 cut short one of the most influential careers in American architecture. Today, Saarinen’s work stands apart and continues to inspire, especially with the renewed interest in 20th-century architects and artists who exploded the comfortable constraints of the past to create a robust and daring American aesthetic.
Kumu Dokumentary on 8 February at 6 PM:
Reflections on Architecture
Director: Amos Gitai
Language: English, French, Italian and Spanish, with English subtitles
Introduction by Ingrid Ruudi.
For his new film, the Israeli film-maker and trained architect Amos Gitaï spoke with the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.
Paradigms change. Who would have dared to think a couple of decades ago that the purpose of an industrial building could be something more than serving as a functional structure? Today’s priority is to include sustainable materials in the construction process, as can be witnessed in the Ricola building created by Herzog and de Meuron, who used tightly compacted earth as building material.
"Reflections on Architecture" alternates images from his old films with footage containing fragments of conversations with Herzog & de Meuron, and shots of some of their constructions.
"We always doubted whether a film about architecture could be successful since there are hardly any good examples to refer to. Architecture can be great in a film when playing an active role, like an actress, instead of simply being documented. There are unforgettable, impressive roles played by architecture in films by Antonioni and Hitchcock. Nevertheless, when we met Amos Gitai we wanted to give it another try: against our better judgement. This was because of Gitai’s interesting biographical background at the intersection of architecture, politics and film. It became clear that the film project would combine documentary and fictional elements, an experiment that Amos Gitai insisted on venturing into. For once we were not authors: we were objects not subjects. We followed the process as listeners and critics but at the end of the day – comparing the film with a still life – you could see our role of being like flowers in a vase, if slightly wilted flowers …"
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, May 2016