Modernism Week Features Architecture and Design Film Series

Modernism Week Features Architecture and Design Film Series: February 22nd-24th, 2019

Happy New Year, Palm Springs! Got a great update for you on one of my favorite upcoming Palm Springs events: Modernism Week has partnered again with the American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs) to offer an Architecture, Design, Art Film Series during Modernism Week from February 22nd-24th, 2019. These engaging (and award-winning!) films range from turning a backyard tree into a dining table, to comparing Renaissance design with engineering challenges of today, to one of America’s most controversial buildings, to what makes people feel at home.
The series will be held over three days on the big screen at The Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly known as Camelot Theatres), located at 2300 E. Baristo Road in Palm Springs.  It will feature 30 films, documentaries and short films divided into 11 Programs.  Each program is individually priced, or attendees may purchase an All Access Pass that allows entry into all programs and films for $65.
Modernism Week is an 11-day event in the Palm Springs area of Southern California that will take place February 15-25, 2018, highlighting midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture. All Modernism Week events are open to the public and tickets are now on sale at A portion of ticket proceeds benefits local preservation, neighborhood and community groups. 
“Modernism Week attendees loved the Architecture, Design, Art Film Series we programed with AmDocs last year, so we collaborated again to develop an even more extensive offering this year to augment our educational programing,” said Mark Davis, educational programming chair of Modernism Week. “We are thrilled to collaborate again with AmDocs to offer this outstanding film series. These films, ranging from insightful short films to full-length feature documentaries about fascinating architects, designers and locations, will provide Modernism Week attendees with a unique opportunity to see a high-caliber selection of exciting films over a three day period. We are extremely grateful that this partnership with AmDocs has provided access to first-rate films that we would not have been able to offer.”
The Architecture, Design, Art Film Series will feature 30 feature films, documentaries and short films grouped into 11 programs. 
“We were thrilled to work with Modernism Week again to curate this powerful film series,” said Teddy Grouya, Founder and Director of the American Documentary Film Festival. “Films about architecture and design highly resonate with Modernism Week attendees, so we programmed this compelling series of fascinating short films, documentaries and feature films to meet this growing interest. We look forward to continuing this relationship and expanding this film series each year.” 
The following films will be offered in the 2019 The Architecture, Design, Art Film Series:
PROGRAM 1, Friday, February 22, 12 PM
“The Tree House: Reconnecting Kids With Nature,” USA, 5 min. (Mark Wilcken) 
 Watch the building of what Americans might call their favorite home style.
“An American Home: Frank Lloyd Wright’s B. Harley Bradley House,” USA, 57 min. (Tom Desch)    Explore the history of a relatively unknown structure by Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most well-known architect. The B. Harley Bradley House arguably launched the Prairie Style of architecture.
PROGRAM 2, Friday, February 22, 2:30 PM
“Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: Visions Not Previously Seen,” USA, 15 min. (Natalija Vekic)
A portrait of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, the groundbreaking 89-year old designer who fused Swiss modernism with an iconic and bold California pop aesthetic to create the design phenomena known as Supergraphics.
“Angelo Donghia: Design Superstar,” USA, 51min. (Julia Noran Johnston)
Angelo Donghia died in 1985 at age 50. His clients included Halston (who was also his best friend), Ralph Lauren (also a close friend of his), Diana Ross, Barbara Walters, Donald and Ivanka Trump, and Liza Minnelli.
PROGRAM 3, Friday, February 22, 5 PM
“Idea Is Paramount. The Architectural Passions Of Andrzej Wajda,” POLAND, 55 min. (Jacek Link-Lenczowski)
Andrzej Wajda, outstanding Polish film director and Oscar winner, was an architecture enthusiast who initiated bold changes in Krakow’s public spaces and promoted Japanese and Far Eastern culture in Poland.
“A Girl Is A Fellow Here: 100 Women Architects In The Studio Of Frank Lloyd Wright,” USA, 20 min. (Beverly Willis)
At a time when few architectural firms would hire women, Frank Lloyd Wright unhesitatingly employed women, giving them both training and the opportunity to practice. Ultimately, more than 100 women architects and designers worked with Wright, many of them going on to remarkable careers of their own.
PROGRAM 4, Friday, February 22, 7:30 PM
“All That Heaven Allows:  A Tribute To Rock Hudson,” USA, 44min. (Mark Griffin)
Iconic. Legendary. Timeless. Rock Hudson was the ultimate movie star and this documentary pays tribute to the matinee idol who was the embodiment of romantic masculinity in American film in the 1950s and 1960s. As an Oscar-nominated leading man, Hudson won acclaim for his performances in glossy melodramas (Magnificent Obsession), western epics (Giant) and blockbuster bedroom farces (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back). In the 70s and 80s, Hudson successfully transitioned to television; his long-running series McMillan & Wife and a recurring role on Dynasty introduced him to a whole new generation of fans.
PROGRAM 5, Saturday, February 23, 12 PM
“Warren S. Fenzi (I Dream Chairs),” USA, 6 min. (Stephen Farina)
A brief view of functional artist–master modernist furniture and cabinet maker–Warren S Fenzi.
“Brady’s Distinctive Lighting,” USA, 6 min. (Isabel Dunn)
Betty Brady, owner of Brady’s Distinctive Lighting in Austin, TX, oversees the repair and resale of modern and antique lighting fixtures.
“The Sketch As Art,” SWEDEN, 15 min. (Elzbieta Brunnberg)
Sketching can be an individual piece of art and an inseparable part of the creative process. Watch as we break down the boundaries between the two dimensional image and the three dimensional space.
“Aspire to the Sky: The Wilshire Grand Story,” USA, 50 min. (Dilip Khatri)
Art and engineering merge to create a design spectacle unique in high rise technology, making The Wilshire Grand one of the most original buildings recently completed in North America. Architects and engineers: making the impossible possible.
PROGRAM 6, Saturday, February 23, 2:30 PM
“Shape Shifters,” USA, 2 min. (David Solomini)
A contemporary exploration of design, architecture and the human form, expressed in experimental dance, and performance art set in visually arresting locations. Intended to make us reflect and appreciate the human potential inside and out.
“Home Of Legends,” NETHERLANDS, 2 min. (Dafne Wengers)
Home of Legends offers spaces for Fnatic’s professional players to train, eat, come together and sleep, and the building can also be visited by fans. These two realities co-exist in this one building.
“Love Story By PPS,” PORTUGAL, 3 min. (Nuno Rocha)
Two strangers, a man and a woman, check in to a romantic hotel. On the way to their rooms they collide and inadvertently switch their room keys. He invites her for a drink at night, but she only sees his message the next day… Will it be too late?
“Conversations With Glass,” USA, 4 min. (Sacha Riviere)
A conversation on spirituality, creativity, mindfulness, and how they intersect with glass blowing.     
“Above,” INDIA, 7 min. (Vishal Vittel)
Here, hope rises from the depths of a painful history on a journey to see life from above.
“Stair/Cases,” ARGENTINA, 22 min. (Margarita Bali)
Follow this creative process in close resonance to M. C. Escher´s work, bearing in mind his obsession with stairs, puzzling perspectives and infinity patterns.
“Enchanted Crimée, a Multistoried Architecture,” FRANCE, 31 min (Sophie Comtet)
Philosopher, dancer, writer, and acrobats have an artistic dialogue with the architecture of a social housing project under construction in Paris.
PROGRAM 7, Saturday, February 23, 5 PM
“A Quiet Elegance,” USA, 54 min. (John C. Brown)
Palm Springs Modernist Master, Hugh Kaptur, created some of the most iconic homes in Palm Springs. Hugh Kaptur is scheduled to be in attendance.
PROGRAM 8, Saturday, February 23, 7:30 PM
“Becoming Marilyn,” USA, 62 min. (Tammy Plimmer)
Becoming Marilyn Monroe was the best-selling film at the 2018 AmDocs Film Festival. The star, Sonny Thompson, relives a night of Marilyn in this film and will perform after the screening.
PROGRAM 9, Sunday, February 24, 12 PM
“What We Do Here,” UK, 21 min. (Kieran Hanson, Howard Walmsley)
Explore how aspiring architects at Manchester School of Architecture approach various stages of model making as they grapple with materials, methods and machines to ultimately reveal the ways in which the models inform their individual growth and understanding.
“Made In Ilima,” USA, 63 min. (Thatcher Bean)
Watch as African Wildlife Foundation and MASS Design Group create a new conservation focused primary school and community center – one that will have to endure for generations, yet be built almost exclusively using local materials, with local artisans and skillsets.
PROGRAM 10, Sunday, February 24, 2:30 PM
“Tree To Table,” USA,10 min (Chuck Cummings)
A fascinating look at the yearlong process of turning a backyard Chinese Elm into a dining room table.
“Wood and Lead in the Sky of Brescia,” ITALY, 11 min. (Nicola Lucini)
The dome of the Loggia di Brescia crosses Renaissance suggestions with engineering challenges of today. The behind the scenes of a great adventure. Brescia, a city suspended between innovation and culture. 
“Starship Chicago,” USA, 16 min. (Nathan Eddy)
They called it Starship Chicago: architect Helmut Jahn’s kaleidoscopic, controversial State of Illinois Center, which shocked the city when it opened in 1985, may not be long for this world.
“The Human Shelter,” DENMARK, 57 min. (Boris Bertram)
What people value or “need” in their lives, ties into a fundamental quality that any architect would be foolish not to cultivate: the ability to listen and perceive what makes people feel at home.
PROGRAM 11, Sunday, February 24, 5 PM
“Cuban Queens,” USA, 7 min. (Warren Bass)
An entertaining and an experimental animation that rhythmically constructs, de-constructs and explores ninety-nine evolving images of Havana’s street divas.
“Kupka – The Pioneer Of Abstract Painting,” FRANCE, 52 min. (Jacques Lœuille)
Francois Kupka was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism. Kupka’s abstract works arose from a base of realism, but later evolved into pure abstract art.
Full descriptions of all films in this series are available at Modernism Week’s signature 11-day event will take place February 14-24, 2019. To receive updates, visit and sign up for Modernism Weekly, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Hilton Palm Springs Resort, Modernism Week’s official host hotel, is offering a special room rate for a limited time only. Contact them directly at 760-320-6868. 
About Modernism Week:
Modernism Week is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, providing scholarships to local Palm Springs students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as giving grants to local and state organizations for their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California. 
About AmDocs
The American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs) is a 501(c)(3)  non-profit entity, operating as part of the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It was created as a forum to celebrate and promote documentary film and the independent filmmakers around the world who bring knowledge and awareness through their stories about real people and issues. It has grown exponentially each year, with annual honorees including Oliver Stone, Dionne Warwick, Peter Coyote and Peter Bogdanovich. The festival screens more than 120 thought provoking, entertaining and unforgettable films set across six screens in theatres in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert, attracting thousands of visitors and more than 150 filmmakers and industry guests from all across the U.S. and the world. 

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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