| Jun 15, 2016 |
‘Midcentury Masters’ film series kicks off
Boh staff
By Staff

The lives and works of Harry Bertoia, Lina Bo Bardi, Charles and Ray Eames, and Buckminster Fuller will be explored in “Midcentury Masters,” a new film series debuting at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), with screenings on June 16, 23, and 30. Held at the museum’s theater, the series will launch in conjunction with two Bertoia-focused exhibits, “Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound” and “Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia.”

The two exhibits, which explore the designer’s sound sculptures and jewelry, opened last month and will run through September 25. “We wanted to contextualize Bertoia’s interdisciplinary practice among a broader group of historical peers working through similar concerns in the mid-20th century,” says Katerina Llanes, MAD’s public programs manager. “Hopefully, the films will provide audiences with new ways of understanding Bertoia’s work and capture the zeitgeist of that particular generation.”

The series, celebrating the generation of masterminds behind midcentury modern design, was curated by Llanes and Carson Parish, audiovisual coordinator. Find the full schedule of the film series below, courtesy of MAD:


Thursday, June 16, at 7 p.m.
$10 general / $5 members and students
The Theater at MAD

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Narrated by James Franco, this vibrant documentary traces the careers of Ray Eames and her husband, Charles, highlighting the duo’s eccentric output. Primarily known as furniture makers, the duo also worked in film, photography, architectural design, and multimedia experimentation. “The Architect and the Painter” highlights their immeasurable contributions to American arts, culture and technology. They paved the road to public acceptance of modernism and rethought the ways in which we interact with our surroundings—and in some ways created an aesthetic template for the digital era. (Directed by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey, 2011, USA; 85 min, Digital Projection)

Harry Bertoia’s Sculpture
With a mesmerizing soundtrack by Harry Bertoia, Clifford West’s film creates a setting of motion and progression rare among other educational films of the 1960s and ’70s. An abstract study, it mirrors the abstraction of Bertoia’s work. An opening shot of a lunar landscape reveals itself to be one of his sculptures, setting the stage for something grand in scope, yet miniature in size. (Directed by Clifford West, 1965, USA; 25 min, Digital Projection)

Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m.
$10 general / $5 members and students
The Theater at MAD

Effervescent, eclectic and unpredictable, Buckminster Fuller is one of the titans of 20th-century design. Actively making work for over half a century, he became known more as a universal problem-solver than a designer. Seeking to “do more with less,” Fuller used this precept as a guiding principle for innovating and creating objects and ideas that improved the day-to-day quality of human life. Largely told in his own words, this rare documentary captures Fuller at the peak of his creative influence. (Directed by Baylis Glascock and Robert Snyder, 1974, USA; 85 min, Digital Projection)

Thursday, June 30, at 7 p.m.
$10 general / $5 members and students
The Theater at MAD

The New World of Lina Bo Bardi
“The New World of Lina Bo Bardi” is a hand-drawn, CGI-made short by architect and filmmaker Ouida Angelica Biddle, directed in collaboration with Nicolau Vergueiro and Joao Rosa. This four-minute video can be seen as a form of fan fiction for Lina Bo Bardi, one of the great architects of the 20th century and a significant voice in, and against, Brazilian modernism. The imagery of the video is re-created entirely from her sketches and buildings, and text by Bo Bardi is read to an original soundtrack arranged by DJ Total Freedom that repurposes parts of the architect’s 1951 essay “Bela Criança.” (Directed by Ouida Angelica Biddle, Nicolau Vergueiro and Joao Rosa, 2013, USA; 4 min, Digital Projection)

Precise Poetry
Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi created stunning works of architectural poetry, and in this expansive set of interviews shot on the eve of her 100th birthday, her colleagues and friends chronicle her life. Bo Bardi worked during a time in which sociopolitical constraints, as well as unforeseen personal events, created immediacy in her work, removing it from the limitations of time. A cinematic odyssey through some of her most important Brazilian architectural projects, this film also reflects on the enduring nature of an artist’s soul after he or she has passed. (Directed by Belinda Rukschcio, 2014, Austria and Germany; 55 min, Digital Projection)

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