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Frank gehry- creative superstar

May 28, 2006

At this moment in time, Frank Gehry is just about the most famous living architect in the world. He’s been responsible for branding cities with his buildings, known as the “Bilbao Effect” and he has even made an appearance on The Simpsons, which surely is proof that he has reached a pinnacle few creative people outside the movie business achieve, pop culture icondom.

Now, for even more proof of his status, there’s Sketches of Frank Gehry, a film by legendary director Sydney Pollack. Pollack, states at the beginning of the film, that he has never made a documentary and knows nothing about architecture. Interestingly, it was for precisely these reasons that Gehry chose him.

The film takes a trip inside the mind of a creative genius; it shows the process at work, the incredible level of support and manpower it requires (model-makers, powerful computer software and creative collaborators) and even how psychotherapy helped Gehry express himself.

The film is nicely made and features appearances by dozens of artists, critics and clients, including, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Peter Lewis, Dennis Hopper, Ed Ruscha and Julian Schnabel.

It’s always tough to get creative egos to open themselves up the camera, but Pollack does a pretty good job. He gets Gehry to talk about his past and the inspirations that he says are all around him, from paintings in a museum to trash in a trashcan.

The film shows how true creativity can’t be explained; Gehry often doesn’t know where his ideas come from and can only assume there is some in explainable magic that just happens, something he is happy to take credit for.

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