In this documentary debut Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They ?, Out of Africa, Tootsie, The Firm) portrays his good friend Frank Gehry. The congenial encounter between these two great masters results in an accessible biographical sketch.
Pollack does not pretend to be an expert on architecture. His documentary is above all an attempt to fathom the modest man behind such famous buildings as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Where Gehry fails to come up with a ready answer during their dialogues, the director visits friends, acquaintances and even Gehry’s very aged therapist. We just miss a few relatives.
Slowly yet surely, it becomes clear how Gehry’s creations, which are on the boundaries of art and architecture, emerge from his initial sketches on paper. Scruffy drawings change to simple models, which finally lead to impressive and world-famous buildings. Pollack puts his camera at the disposal of his subject. With a combination of film and Mini DV, he does not lose himself in tricks but provides a very precise observation of a special man.