(Ken Burns,Lynn Novick, USA, 1998) 146 minutes


Directors: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Producers: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Peter Miller
Photography: Buddy Squires, Ken Burns
Screenplay: Geoffrey C Ward
Editor: Tricia Reidy

Edward Herrmann (Narrator)
with the voices of
Philip Bosco
Julie Harris
Sab Shimono

Reviews and notes

The life of one of the century's towering creative figures, US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, receives appropriately grand and probing treatment in this utterly absorbing study. Wright's trail-blazing work has been the subject of more than one previous documentary, but Ken Burns and Lynn Novak bring the tumultuous life to bear on his career in constantly illuminating ways...

Using all manner of original photographs, plans, home movies of Wright and disciples at Taliesin West, TV appearances, news footage and interviews with family members and architecture experts, including the late Wright biographer Brendan Gill, the picture examines the man's stunning virtues as well as his significant flaws. His secret, perhaps, was that he 'never gave himself any limits', in one observer's opinion; he was a professional nonconformist, a larger-than-life, romantic, heroic, cape-wearing, cane-wielding Great Man of the old school...

Immaculately produced, the film could have used, if anything, more direct commentary from Wright himself. But his viewpoints, impact and ultimate status are fluently expressed here, and they are brought home in a way that places them not only in their historical context, but into the epic eternal discussion of artistic ideas and ideals.
- Todd McCarthy, Variety.

This was the runaway hit at last year's Wellington Film Festival. A late entry, it did turn away business at it's two screenings, and also at the several extra screenings due to public demand. This one final screening, for contractual reasons, is restricted to Film Society members only.

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