New reviews, interviews, and features via RSS or Email.

Sponsored Links

Sketches of Frank Gehry

(2006) ** 1/2 Unrated
84 min. Sony Pictures Classics.
Sydney Pollack picked up a DVD-Cam and began following his friend and world-famous architect Frank Gehry around Los Angeles for the documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry. There's a casual informality to Pollack's documentary technique, which blends talking heads and supple demonstrations of Gehry's creations with what amount to home-movie records of Gehry at work in his design offices or just chatting with Pollack (for his debut doc, the director unaccountably feels the need to include shots of himself shooting Gehry, along with not particularly useful comparisons of Gehry's art-versus-commerce concerns with Pollack's own studio struggles). The results are semi-revealing about the architect-artist who influences whole cityscapes with his unique, proudly impractical neo-Cubist buildings. As Gehry's friends and Gehry himself will sometimes admit, not all of his works are artistic successes, and certainly some could be called pretentious, anti-aesthetic eyesores, but there's no denying his distinctiveness and influence. Dennis Hopper, Bob Geldof, Julian Schnabel, Michael Eisner, and Barry Diller all comment on Gehry, as do his peers, his critics, and his therapist. But no moment in the film seems more revealing of the man than when he puts a curious touch onto a cardboard model, announces, "That is so stupid-looking, it's great," raises in hands in triumph, and yelps, "Yeeee-ah!"
Share/bookmark: Digg Facebook Fark Furl Google Bookmarks Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Yahoo! My Web Permalink Permalink

Aspect ratios: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Number of discs: 1

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

Street date: 8/22/2006

Distributor: Sony Home Entertainment

This 2006 film gets a crisp presentation from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, with a fine 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a resonant 5.1 Dolby Digital track that well serves the talky film and its classical soundtrack.

The sole bonus feature is, happily, a terrific one: a "Q&A with Director Sidney Pollack" (34:09), moderated by Alexander Payne at the L.A. Premiere of the film. The discussion thoroughly explicates the production, from Pollack's initial inspiration to his approach to capturing Gehry's artistic process. The director tells Payne how he ended up in his own film, against his original intentions, and about the challenges of being his own cameraman. Pollack also discusses his own "road not taken" on the way to his Hollywood career.

Rounding out the disc are previews for Who Killed the Electric Car?, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Why We Fight, The Italian, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, Mountain Patrol: Kekexili, The Fog of War, Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, and Cirque du Soleil on DVD.
Review gear:
Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT30 55" Plasma 1080p 3D HDTV
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Denon AVR2112CI Integrated Network A/V Surround Receiver
Pioneer SP-BS41-LR Bookshelf Speaker (2)
Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker
Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer

Share this review:
Share/bookmark: Digg Facebook Fark Furl Google Bookmarks Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Yahoo! My Web Permalink Permalink
Sponsored Links