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Norman Foster Hits the Big Screen

February 16, 2010
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Image via Thomas Manns & Company

You know architecture has really gone mainstream when the life of a starchitect hits the big screen of a major international film festival. Showcasing at the 60th Berlin Film Festival together with a restored version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, (which aims to draw a parallel between the ficitional futuristic city and Foster’s Masdar City), the Spanish-British documentary How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? cinematically glides over Foster’s masterpieces The Third and the Seventh-style, all the while giving us glimpses into his personal life.

Directed by Norberto Lopez-Amado (Nos miran, 2002) and the North American Carlos Carcas (Old Man Bebo, 2008) and produced by Foster’s wife Elena Ochoa’s production company Art Commissioners in association with Aiete Ariane Films, the 72-minute documentary was filmed in over 10 countries over the course of the last two years. According to Ochoa, it is the first of a series of productions on the key figures of art and culture of the XXI century.

British architect Norman Foster (L) and Festival director Dieter Kosslick attend the Berlinale Keynotes with Sir Norman Foster during day four of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival at the Neue Nationalgalerie on February 14, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. ( February 13, 20102010-02-13 16:00:00 - Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe)

From the Art Commissioner’s Archive:

Part of me loves the idea of architecture becoming a mainstream subject, beyond the realm of architects. Films like these reach a broad audience and arouse in ordinary people a sense of wonder and piqued interest in the built environment. That is great. Surely Bucky Fuller’s question (the documentary’s title) is a great starting point, and we’ll have to wait to see the film to see where it leads. Yet part of me wonders whether we have yet to see such hype around a less star-struck, object-driven, glamorous approach to the communication of architecture through film.

You can watch several clips of the film here.

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