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Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe (2004)

Director: Joseph Hillel, Patrick Demers, Patrick Demers, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Tva Films
Genre: Documentary, Art
Running Time: 56 min.

Synopsis
In 1967, at the end of a career spanning more than six decades, which included the design of the Seagram Building in New York, the Lake Shore Drive Apartment Buildings in Chicago, and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) designed a simple gas station near Montreal. The story of that gas station serves as the point of departure for REGULAR OR SUPER, which examines Mies' entire body of work (more than 70 buildings) and a sparse style that reflects his motto that less is more.

Mies began his architectural career in Germany early in the 20th century and during the Thirties taught at the famed Bauhaus School of Art and Design in Berlin. In 1938, after the school was shut down by the Nazis, Mies emigrated to Chicago where he designed 22 buildings for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Over the next three decades, in a radical break from the predominant beaux arts style, he refined a distinctive, modernist architectural style emphasizing glass and steel in a variety of buildings whose structures creatively integrated surrounding public space.

Featuring stylish cinematography and an evocative jazz score, REGULAR OR SUPER illustrates many of Mies' classic buildings, combining these striking facades with observations from some architecture superstars, including Rem Koolhaas, Elizabeth Diller and Phyllis Lambert, which are interlaced with anecdotes from customers and neighbors of the gas station, plus comments from his biographer and family members.

REGULAR OR SUPER is a fascinating and informative introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential architects and a thought-provoking demonstration of the social and artistic contributions that architecture at its best can make to our urban environments.



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