Beware the title
James Heitzer | Denver | 12/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a show about the homes that Mr. Wright lived in - Oak Park, Taliesin and Taliesin West, not the homes that he built for others. Fallingwater and the Johnson house are mentioned in the biography, but not shown. I was disappointed at that.
With the scarcity of DVDs offered on Wright on Amazon, I would have hoped that this would have been an overview of his work. Instead, it concentrated on only three sites and did not attempt to put them into context with his other work.
I guess I cannot blame this on A & E. This was part of a series on American Castles and the subject was so small. It is the problem with TV shows that limit what can be said in the hour long (forty-four minutes, actually) format. Film and television can show views that books cannot. This show's problem is that it cannot please everyone (anyone?) because it is not specific to the pre-existing knowledge of its viewers.
Nonetheless, I did enjoy the presentation. It did not dwell on scandal or the sensational and stuck to its goal."
Three Homes of the Architect
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 12/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This work does not concern the entire oeuvre of FLW. It's about the 3 homes he built for himself and his families (purposely plural). What I like about art documentaries is how they don't just discuss the subject of the work, but they talk about the materials, history, and tacit messages about it. Similarly, this work doesn't show a single blueprint. It speaks of the shape of the houses, but also the materials used, how the homes were expanded. They even mention chairs that FLW designed.
The work says FLW was influenced by the minimalism of Japanese architecture. As the Impressionists looked to Japan, so did he, but the work does not make that connection. In the middle of the work, the narrator states that FLW knew Georgia O'Keeffe personally. However, it never makes the connection that both would have one home in the Southwest and one home farther east. One interviewee stated that FLW tried to make an architecture specific to or relating to the Midwest. Many scholars have write about nationalism, how artists want to create things that describe their nation. I guess one could say FLW was dedicated to a regionalism. His Southwestern home reflected the environment of its particular place.
The work has male and female interviewees. A female student was interviewed, suggesting that his disciples were not only male. The work doesn't shy about from FLW's adultery. Near the end of the work, photos of shirtless, young men building FLW's last home were seen, and some may find the men and the photos erotic."