Sketches of Frank Gehry review

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Frank Gehry has been tagged as architecture’s answer to Picasso. He busted the rules to conjure structures in new forms, shapes and materials. One critic hailed Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum as being “like something from outer space that’s been there 100 years”: utterly alien yet a natural fit.

Tootsie director Sidney Pollack might not seem the obvious choice for this documentary, but as an old friend of the architect he obviously enjoyed Gehry’s trust, as well as inside access to wealthy Hollywood patrons like ex-Disney boss Michael Eisner. The affable, frankly admiring tone keeps pretentiousness at bay and it’s fascinating to see Gehry’s modern monuments traced back to dashed-off doodles and Blue Peter-style cardboard cut-ups. All the same, the questioning is skin-deep and Pollack’s handheld DV approach doesn’t show the buildings at their best.

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