Sunday, May 20, 2012

Architect Docs: Kondylis Vs. Portman

Recently I watched documentaries on a couple architects -- Costas Kondylis and John Portman -- whom I'd least expect to receive the treatment. Which begged the question, "Why?" Perhaps the answer lies in "How?" So in lieu of straightforward reviews of each film, below is a side-by-side comparison (actually a top-bottom one, given Blogger's limited formatting capabilities) of Building Stories and John Portman: A Life of Building.



Running Time:
Kondylis: 58 minutes
Portman: 52 minutes

Director:
Kondylis: Toni Comas
Portman: Ben Loeterman

Writer:
Kondylis: Stuart Elliott
Portman: Ben Loeterman

Interview footage with architect:
Kondylis: No, but actor portrayal in one scene; some audio and footage of architect looking at his buildings
Portman: Yes, footage of interviews as well as candid meetings, lectures, etc.

Predominant type of building photography:
Kondylis: Looking up, tilting; some time-lapse
Portman: Lots of time-lapse

Sampling of people interviewed in the film:
Kondylis: Rick Bell, Kenneth Frampton, James Gardner, Karrie Jacobs, Richard Meier, Francis Morrone, Larry Silverstein, Donald Trump
Portman: Paul Goldberger, K. Michael Hays, Mack Scogin, Jacque Robertson, Portman's children

Score:
Kondylis: Dramatic
Portman: Koyaanisqatsi-esque

Support provided by:
Kondylis: The Real Deal
Portman: Central Atlanta Progress, Inc.

Highlight:
Kondylis: Doctoring Trump World Tower to look gold (similar to this), Trump's first choice for the exterior.
Portman: The architect visiting his first atrium building, a public housing project slated for demolition at the time and since demolished.