Sydney Pollack/Sketches of Frank Gehry

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THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORK’S AMERICAN MASTERS EXPLORES THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF A PIONEERING ARCHITECT IN SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY, DIRECTED BY SYDNEY POLLACK, PREMIERING SPRING 2004 ON PBS
Pollack’s First Feature-Length Documentary

Features Interviews With Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Musician Bob Geldof, Actor Dennis Hopper, Architect Philip Johnson, And Artist Julian Schnabel

In 1998, acclaimed director Sydney Pollack traveled to Spain to see the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a curvaceous, free-form structure that confirmed the world-wide reputation of its risk-taking architect, Frank O. Gehry. In Spain, at the site of his old friend’s masterwork, an idea took hold for a documentary – Pollack’s first. Like Gehry’s buildings, Pollack’s film would be different, a juxtaposition of the sophisticated and the adventurous. The resulting documentary, AMERICAN MASTERS Sketches of Frank Gehry, is both a testament to Gehry’s greatness and a visual dialogue between two old friends – a compelling conversation about art, architecture, film and American culture.

Sketches of Frank Gehry is directed by Sydney Pollack and produced by Mr. Pollack and Ultan Guilfoyle for AMERICAN MASTERS, the Peabody Award-winning series that won the 2003 Emmy for “Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series” – the fourth time it has earned that top honor for television documentaries. The film premieres in Spring 2004 on PBS.
Pollack, who has known Gehry for 30 years, says he hopes to create a filmed complement to Gehry’s architecture. “Frank often says that the sketch is the most fulfilling thing,” says Pollack, a director/producer whose most recent film is Cold Mountain. “We want to preserve that, the sketch quality – in the way we tell the story, and in the way we make the film.”
Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of AMERICAN MASTERS, says Sketches is about the creative process, about art, light, movement and form. “Frank Gehry is absolutely an American Master – he is an artist, a poet, a Picasso for our time,” says Lacy. “We are so fortunate to have Sydney Pollack directing this film. The interplay between these two great artists is wonderful to witness. Their friendship is, really, the heart of the film.”
In a nod to Gehry’s own impromptu style, Pollack used hand-held video cameras to record hours of conversations between the two men at Gehry’s studio and Santa Monica home. Always in the background are the radical design and unorthodox materials such as chain link fence, corrugated metal and plywood that helped propel Gehry to architecture’s forefront.
To capture the beauty and distinct nature of Gehry’s architecture, Pollack turned to film, utilizing the powerful visual style that earned him critical raves for Oscar winners like Out of Africa. Together, Pollack and Gehry traveled to several of Gehry’s signature buildings, such as the brand-new, $274 million Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which The New York Times called “the most gallant building you are ever likely to see.”
Gehry’s creative process often starts with an abstract sketch. From there, as Pollack shows, Gehry turns ephemeral drawings into architectural models created in his own studio. The resulting buildings – constructed of titanium and glass, concrete and steel, wood and stone – have risen in Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United States.
For lifetime achievements, Gehry was awarded architecture’s highest honor, the Priztker Prize in 1989. Calling Gehry “refreshingly original and totally American,” the Priztker jury wrote: “In an artistic climate that too often looks backward rather than toward the future, where retrospectives are more prevalent than risk-taking, it is important to honor the architecture of Frank O. Gehry.”
But as Gehry himself says in Sketches, “I don’t dwell on talent or creativity. I worry that if you think about it too much, it’ll go away.”
AMERICAN MASTERS Sketches of Frank Gehry premieres in Spring 2004. Susan Lacy is the creator and executive producer of AMERICAN MASTERS. Jac Venza is director of cultural and arts programs at Thirteen/WNET New York.
AMERICAN MASTERS has become a cultural legacy in its own right, producing an exceptional film library that illustrates the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians and visual and performing artists. Now in its 18th year, the series set the standard for documentary film profiles and has received widespread critical acclaim, winning 12 Emmys, including four for “Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series,” five Peabodys, an Oscar, a Grammy, and 33 Cine Golden Eagles. With authenticity and integrity, the series enhances an appreciation of our cultural heritage and maintains the kind of in-depth, thorough and insightful explorations that viewers have come to expect from public television.
For more information on this and other American Masters programs, visit www.thirteen.org and www.pbs.org. This colorful web companion contains biographical essays, additional video footage from the film, filmmaker interviews, a complete list of past American Masters, an interactive timeline and activities for teachers including lesson plans, tips and resources.
Corporate sponsorship for AMERICAN MASTERS is provided by American Century Investments. Funding is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Jack Rudin, the André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, and public television viewers.
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Stage on Screen, Secrets of the Dead, and Cyberchase – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each
week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. With educational and community outreach projects that extend the impact of its television productions, Thirteen takes television “out of the box.” And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, enhanced television, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products. More information about Thirteen can be found at: www.thirteen.org.
……….…
Press Contacts:
Matthew Baumoel
Jess Michaels

Thirteen/WNET New York
Thirteen/WNET New York

212.560.3118
BaumoelM@thirteen.org
212.560.3014
Michaels@thirteen.org

Sketches of Frank Gehry is directed by Sydney Pollack and produced by Mr. Pollack and Ultan Guilfoyle for AMERICAN MASTERS, the Peabody Award-winning series that won the 2003 Emmy for “Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series” – the fourth time it has earned that top honor for television documentaries. The film premieres in Spring 2004 on PBS.
Pollack, who has known Gehry for 30 years, says he hopes to create a filmed complement to Gehry’s architecture. “Frank often says that the sketch is the most fulfilling thing,” says Pollack, a director/producer whose most recent film is Cold Mountain. “We want to preserve that, the sketch quality – in the way we tell the story, and in the way we make the film.”
Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of AMERICAN MASTERS, says Sketches is about the creative process, about art, light, movement and form. “Frank Gehry is absolutely an American Master – he is an artist, a poet, a Picasso for our time,” says Lacy. “We are so fortunate to have Sydney Pollack directing this film. The interplay between these two great artists is wonderful to witness. Their friendship is, really, the heart of the film.”
In a nod to Gehry’s own impromptu style, Pollack used hand-held video cameras to record hours of conversations between the two men at Gehry’s studio and Santa Monica home. Always in the background are the radical design and unorthodox materials such as chain link fence, corrugated metal and plywood that helped propel Gehry to architecture’s forefront.
To capture the beauty and distinct nature of Gehry’s architecture, Pollack turned to film, utilizing the powerful visual style that earned him critical raves for Oscar winners like Out of Africa. Together, Pollack and Gehry traveled to several of Gehry’s signature buildings, such as the brand-new, $274 million Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which The New York Times called “the most gallant building you are ever likely to see.”
Gehry’s creative process often starts with an abstract sketch. From there, as Pollack shows, Gehry turns ephemeral drawings into architectural models created in his own studio. The resulting buildings – constructed of titanium and glass, concrete and steel, wood and stone – have risen in Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United States.
For lifetime achievements, Gehry was awarded architecture’s highest honor, the Priztker Prize in 1989. Calling Gehry “refreshingly original and totally American,” the Priztker jury wrote: “In an artistic climate that too often looks backward rather than toward the future, where retrospectives are more prevalent than risk-taking, it is important to honor the architecture of Frank O. Gehry.”
But as Gehry himself says in Sketches, “I don’t dwell on talent or creativity. I worry that if you think about it too much, it’ll go away.”
AMERICAN MASTERS Sketches of Frank Gehry premieres in Spring 2004. Susan Lacy is the creator and executive producer of AMERICAN MASTERS. Jac Venza is director of cultural and arts programs at Thirteen/WNET New York.
AMERICAN MASTERS has become a cultural legacy in its own right, producing an exceptional film library that illustrates the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians and visual and performing artists. Now in its 18th year, the series set the standard for documentary film profiles and has received widespread critical acclaim, winning 12 Emmys, including four for “Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series,” five Peabodys, an Oscar, a Grammy, and 33 Cine Golden Eagles. With authenticity and integrity, the series enhances an appreciation of our cultural heritage and maintains the kind of in-depth, thorough and insightful explorations that viewers have come to expect from public television.
For more information on this and other American Masters programs, visit www.thirteen.org and www.pbs.org. This colorful web companion contains biographical essays, additional video footage from the film, filmmaker interviews, a complete list of past American Masters, an interactive timeline and activities for teachers including lesson plans, tips and resources.
Corporate sponsorship for AMERICAN MASTERS is provided by American Century Investments. Funding is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Jack Rudin, the André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, and public television viewers.
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Stage on Screen, Secrets of the Dead, and Cyberchase – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each
week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. With educational and community outreach projects that extend the impact of its television productions, Thirteen takes television “out of the box.” And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, enhanced television, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products. More information about Thirteen can be found at: www.thirteen.org.
………….
Press Contacts:
Matthew Baumoel
Jess Michaels

Thirteen/WNET New York
Thirteen/WNET New York

212.560.3118
BaumoelM@thirteen.org
212.560.3014
Michaels@thirteen.org

 

 

The Supreme Court

Press Releases - WNET Comments Off on The Supreme Court

THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORK PRESENTS THE SUPREME COURT, AN UNPRECEDENTED SERIES EXPLORING THE HISTORY, IMPACT AND DRAMA OF AMERICA’S HIGHEST COURT, PREMIERING JANUARY 31 ON PBS
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. And Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Give In-Depth Interviews; Actor David Strathairn Narrates

It’s known as the court of last resort – the Supreme Court – where nine judges appointed for life make monumental decisions that govern our everyday lives, from the contents of the nation’s daily newspapers to what we can do in the privacy of our own homes. With immense power and considerable mystery, the court of final appeal has helped author the history of America. But even though it is one of the pillars of American democracy – the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution – no television series has ever fully profiled the inner workings of the court. Until now. Read the rest…

James Brown: Soul Survivor

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THIRTEEN WNET/NEW YORK CELEBRATES THE HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOW BUSINESS – IN HONOR OF HIS 70TH BIRTHDAY – WITH AMERICAN MASTERS JAMES BROWN: SOUL SURVIVOR, PREMIERING OCTOBER 29 ON PBS
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James Brown To Receive This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors In The Performing Arts

In the 1960s, the Godfather of Soul told a rapidly changing world he’d rather die on his feet than live on his knees. Even then – especially then – all James Brown had to do was holler, and everyone got the message, a message of black pride and black power, a message that infused his music and electrified audiences the world over. Thirty years later, Brown remains one of the most charismatic and influential musical icons of his time, a hero and role model to two generations of rockers and rappers. Hit songs like “Please, Please, Please” “It’s a Man’s World” and “Sex Machine” serve to “release the scream in all of us,” according to the Rev. Al Sharpton. Read the rest…