Thursday, June 14, 2012

Film Review: How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Michele Wilson-Morris

Architecture is power, and civilizations have used it over the centuries to express who and what they are. Norman Foster does the same thing in modern times with extravagance, luxury, and new technology and materials mixed with good old fashioned common sense and a certain decorum. He is "the world's architect," and in the dazzling presentation "How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?," from filmmakers Lopez Amada and Carlos Carcas, viewers are treated to some of most spectacular and elegant marvels known to man, all built by one man -- Norman Foster.

Foster, who grew up on the working class side of the tracks in Manchester, England, has devoted his entire life to the quest of being the premiere architect of our time, which is a title that he has succeeded in attaining. He is the master creator of things that, prior to his efforts, have only been imagined, including London's Swiss Re Tower, New York's Hearst Building, Berlin's Reichstag, Beijing Airport's International Terminal and the breathtaking Millau Viaduct, over the Gorges du Tarn in France.

Building from a spiritual sense like the ancients, Foster considers the environment, beauty, and functionality, even lending his expertise to the way airports and bridges are constructed. He changes function into art, conserving steel in his constructions while making them stronger with less material. This wonderful story of one man's dedication, perseverance, and achievement is utterly amazing and insightful. Shot after glorious shot, viewers will be amazed at his story and work. Where does his genius come from? How has it developed over time? How did he get to be "the world's architect?" This documentary holds the answers to all of these questions and more as you learn about the man behind both the biggest building in the world and the most expensive building in the world.

Brilliant cinematography and excellent producing were critical to ensuring that a film with such a subject was done successfully, and neither aspect is missing. "How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?" is definitely worth viewing.

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