Frank Lloyd Wright (PBS)

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Arts Documentary hosted by Edward Herrmann, directed by Ken Burns, published by PBS in 1998 - English narration

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Image: Frank-Lloyd-Wright-A-Film-by-Ken-Burns-Cover.jpg

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Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest of all American architects. He was an authentic American genius, a man who believed he was destined to redesign the world, creating everything anew. Over the course of his long career, Wright designed over eight hundred buildings, including such revolutionary structures as the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Wax Building, Fallingwater, Unity Temple and Taliesin. Wright's buildings and his ideas changed the way we live, work and see the world around us. Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural achievements were often overshadowed by the turbulence of his melodramatic life. In ninety-two years, he fathered seven children, married three time, and was almost constantly embroiled in scandal. Some hated him, some loved him, but in the end, few could deny that he was the most important architect in America - and perhaps the world. With exquisite live cinematography, fascinating interviews, and rare archival footage, this riveting film brings Wright's unforgettable story to life. Frank Lloyd Wright left behind a rich legacy of beautiful houses and buildings—a truly American style of architecture, and an example of what it means to live life based on your own convictions. Learn more about organic architecture, what fueled Wright’s passion, and how Wright's work changed architecture and America.

- I don't think it's unfair to say that there is no American architect who has ever lived who has done as much to touch the world, who has done as much to realize his vision of what a perfect architecture might be than Frank Lloyd Wright. - William Cronon, Historian

- The beauty of Frank Lloyd Wright is that aside from telling a long and often melodramatic story lucidly, it deals with issues of art and architecture in ways that are approachable but not simplistic. (It's also surprisingly scandalous, although this is seen as part of his art.) Wright was first and foremost a rebel who took his cues from nature, though, as one commentator points out, this is not to say his approach was natural. What he was rebelling against was the clutter and claustrophobia of Victorian architecture. The rooms he designed opened up on each other, and his exteriors seemed to grow laterally out of the landscape. All of these ideas are neatly illustrated - although it perhaps could have been explained how Wright's later, whimsical designs related to his earlier, earthbound ones - with some marvelous footage of a Wright lily pad column supporting a load of sandbags and quiet Steadicam shots of Wright interiors that give the viewer a feeling for his sense of light and harmony. The filmmakers have wisely kept the technical talk to a minimum, but they are also not afraid to step back and let the experts ruminate on the nature of his genius, even when these experts are at a loss for words. Burns has made stars of some of his commentators in previous films, and in this one the late critic Brendan Gill shines. Wright himself comes across as a man who never doubted himself, a lousy father, and self-consciously Byronic. His vitality and larger-than-life persona seemed to belong to the 19th century, making him - and this is perhaps a mixed blessing - the last of his kind. - John Clark

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: AVC Advanced Video Codec
  • Video Bitrate: 1 037 KB/s
  • Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Video Resolution: 704 x 544
  • Audio Codec: (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 Kb/s 48000Hz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 1h 22mn
  • Framerate: 29.970 FPS
  • Number of Parts: 2
  • Part Size: 738 Mb
  • Ripped by DocFreak08
  • Subtitles: no

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