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I think all great artist’s thirst for inspiration and being a visual artist I often look to inspiration in the form of other visual information.  I began collecting photography books in college, when a professor stated that an artist’s library is his most valuable asset.  My first purchases back in 1985 was the 4 volume set, The Work of Atget but that is a post for another day. The other place I look for inspiration and knowledge is often the documentary film and, increasingly, these films have become readily available via Netflix streaming or through you local library. I will list these films with links to where you might find them and I hope you too may gain some wonderful inspiration from them as I have.


1. My Architect: A Son’s Journey



A wonderful documentary by the son of Louis Kahn. As both son’s & grandson of architects, and having spent my life in the world of architecture, it was hard not to connect with this film and a looking into Louis Kahn’s life.

Available on Netflix Streaming here: http://tinyurl.com/5wsune4
2.  Maya Lin – A Strong Clear Vision


A wonderful film and Academy Award winning documentary.

Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/5rmy22d

3. The Films of Charles & Ray Eames – The Powers of 10 (Vol. 1) 


This film came out in 1968 and I remembered fondly of seeing it as a child that when I became an adult, it was one of the first movies I purchased on DVD because I wanted to have it for my children to see.

Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/49enjt6

4. Frank Lloyd Wright – A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick


You take the legendary Frank Lloyd Wight and put in the hands of master film maker Ken Burns and what do you expect, a wonderful documentary.

Available on Netflix Streaming here: http://tinyurl.com/62tedx8

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman


I must admit. I wasn’t a huge Julius Shulman fan going into this film but I certainly was going out.  A must see for any architectural photographer.

Available on Netflix Streaming here: http://tinyurl.com/4j7p4xd

6. Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio




Sam Mockbee was an incredible architect who sadly, recently passed away.  This movie lends wonderful insight into Sam & the Rural Studio and celebrates architecture as a social art.


Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/62hs7hr


7.  Philip Johnson: Diary of An Eccentric Architect



An entertaining and engaging documentary into the life of this incredible, and sometimes controversial architect.


Sadly, not available via Netflix at this point but potentially at your library or for purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/4lw585t


8. Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sydney Pollack



Not as insightful as one might hope, into the life of the great Frank Gehry but certainly entertaining.


Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/4gdezrc


9.  Antonio Gaudi (1984) 





A beautiful look into the life of the great innovator of the Spanish art nouveau movement.


Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/4na3ga6


10.  I.M. Pei – First Person Singular/The Museum on the Mountain



An inspirational look into the life of this seminal American Chinese architect.


Though not available via Netflix Streaming, it is available for rental and can likely be found at your public library. A link for you to find it at Netflix here: http://tinyurl.com/5sf8y69


& one always must have one to grow on.


11. Rem Koolhaas: Kind of Architect



Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas is undoubtedly one of the most influential architects working today.  Any insight into him and his work is inspirational, as is this wonderful documentary.


Available for purchase through Amazon, etc. and soon will be available on Netflix so, put it in your queue here: http://tinyurl.com/4h8bvp8


I hope this list, with links, is helpful to some of you and leads you in the direction of great inspiration.  Architecture is my muse and these wonderful films help bring that muse to me when I am not out there shooting it.


All the Best,


Brad

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