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My Architect: A Son's Journey
My Architect A Son's Journey
Actors: Edmund Bacon, Edwina Pattison Daniels, B.V. Doshi, Frank O. Gehry, Philip Johnson
Genres: Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     1hr 56min

A riveting tale of love, art, betrayal and forgiveness -- in which the illegitimate son of a legendary architect undertakes a worldwide exploration to discover and understand his father's and the personal choices he made....  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Edmund Bacon, Edwina Pattison Daniels, B.V. Doshi, Frank O. Gehry, Philip Johnson
Genres: Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/15/2005
Original Release Date: 11/12/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 11/12/2003
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A son's journey to find his father
J. Ott | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While it won't win the Academy Award this year, up against the stellar CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS and THE FOG OF WAR, this film is still well worth seeing. Despite being a personal narrative that gives very little background about architecture, I left it feeling for the first time that architecture is truly an art in its own right.It's the personal nature of the film that does it. You see how personally Louis I. Khan took his edificial creations-- and how indifferent he was to other creations, namely his son, the filmmaker, who barely knew him. As the son travels the world to see his father's buildings, he uncovers much about his father. Two secret families. A rough childhood. Influence of Judaism. Influence of Hinduism.The amateurish parts of the film are saved, in my opinion, by the sincerity of the son's journey. He's not afraid to reveal embarrassing truths about his father, nor make himself look awkward (as in the hilarious sequence at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem). Could the film be more slick, more polished? Sure. But like his father's scarred concrete walls, he is not afraid to let the flaws show."
My father, my architect
Mitchell Lopate | Silverdale, WA | 03/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nathaniel Kahn's search for his late father, famed architect Louis Kahn, is a magnificent personal soul-searching for both legacy and family. The camera angles and perspectives extrapolate the insights that (Louis) Kahn brought to his works; the testimonies of friends and associates are emotive and passionate with love, respect, admiration, and joy. Nathaniel brings the eagerness and devotion as a loving adult for his father by highlighting the beauty, power, and simplicity of the buildings Louis designed--as well as revealing his personal quirks and flaws in a way that is wholesome and honest. More importantly, Nathaniel also embraces openly and with vulnerability the two half-sisters he hardly knew, looking to reunite the distant members of his family to resolve the issues his father could not face. The crowning moment of this film takes place in Bangla Desh when a key statesman breaks down in tears as he explains to Nathaniel why the state capitol building is a national monument of independence, democracy, and the future of the country, brought to them by Louis's genius."
Best film on an architect since...... ever?
G. L. Marriage | Middle Earth, New Zealand | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Are you an Architect? Are you married to one? Ever even spoken to one? If you're like most people, architects are mystical creative creatures, often men, always wearing black polonecks, living in gorgeous houses with even more gorgeous wives, designing stupendous buildings in the flash of an eye. Well it's not like that really. Although this film doesn't really give us architects a much better image either. Nathaniel's film is, or was for him, a film to find out some of the truths about his father, Louis Kahn, a mystical figure who would appear infrequently in Nathaniel's life. So, for him, the making of this film was a voyage of discovery, about a man, his father, who just happened to be an architect. And, umm, how shall we put this: not married to Nate's mother.To the rest of us architects however, Kahn is not just AN architect, he is THE architect. His buildings, sublime and perfect, are all too few: one of the best is rarely seen by the Western world, as it is in Bangladesh. The film's journey along the way shows us both the human side (all too human - one wife and two mistresses....), and the architectural side: his office, archive clips of Kahn on site, and wonderfully catty comments from the arch Arch himself, Phillip Johnson. Could he perhaps be... a little jealous? Thoughts of Ann Rand's the Fountainhead spring to mind here....For a documentary, it's fascinating, and well deserves to win the Oscar this year. As an architectural text book however, it's a must see, a must buy the DVD, especially if you are an architect, or are married to one, or want to know what makes them tick. Students: go and see this film right now. Teachers: gather up those artistic few in the class, and give them all a pencil after the film. Wives and girlfriends: don't go near an architect unless you want to share. Thanks Nathaniel, for sharing your father with all of us."
Haunting Portrayal of an Engmatic Genius
Anonymous Reader | United States | 05/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My Architect rates five stars for its haunting portrayal of architect Louis Kahn.

Louis Kahn, who died of a heart attack in New York's Penn Station in 1974, was an architect's architect-- he inspired many greats, including Phillip Johnson and Frank Gehry, but never attained the substantial commercial success that he craved. His major works were comparatively few, and include the Salk Institute, the Yale Art Museum, India's Institute of Management, and the capital of Bangladesh. Kahn's buildings distill form and light with a purity that many term mystic. Viewing Kahn's projects some 30 years after his death, it appears probable that Kahn's designs were ahead of their time. His commercial difficulties were also likely exacerbated by an intense, difficult temperament.

Kahn's professional life was only surpassed in complexity by his personal affairs. He fathered three children by three mothers, remaining married to his first wife while continuing to be involved with his other two families. If Kahn's designs were enigmatic, his personal affairs only compound his mystery. Two of the women who bore Kahn children, both architectural colleagues in his firm, are interviewed in the film. His children, reared separately, meet to examine their father, their various mothers, and their memories of his funeral. Both his wives and children speak of Kahn's magnetism and mystery-- one could be riveted by him, but the totality of the man was always hidden.

Nathaniel Kahn, Kahn's youngest child and only son, is the director and producer of My Architect. The film probes his father's professional and personal legacies with delicacy, wistfulness and regret. Nathaniel was eleven when Kahn died. This fine film is an homage to the accomplishments and failures of an enigmatic and eccentric genius, whose architecture inspired many and whose personal conduct combined love with selfishness and self-protection.

Highly recommended-- a strong five stars.