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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
PBS: architect Eero Saarinen, American Masters Season 30 finale
THIRTEEN's American Masters Concludes
30th Anniversary Season with Eero Saarinen:
The Architect Who Saw the Future, Premiering Nationwide Tuesday, December 27 on PBS
of photography Eric Saarinen, ASC, takes a cathartic journey to his
father's landmark modernist works, including St. Louis' Gateway Arch
Peter Franzén and Blythe Danner are the voices of Eero and Aline Saarinen
American Masters -- Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future explores
the life and visionary work of Finnish-American modernist architectural
giant Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) in the series' Season 30 finale,
premiering nationwide Tuesday, December 27 at 8 p.m. on PBS
(check local listings) and available on DVD January 3, 2017 from PBS
Distribution. Best known for designing National Historic Landmarks such
as St. Louis' iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical
Center (Warren, Mich.), Saarinen also designed New York's TWA Flight
Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Yale University's
Ingalls Rink and Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Virginia's Dulles
Airport, and modernist pedestal furniture like the Tulip chair. His
sudden death at age 51 cut short one of the most influential careers in
Saarinen's son, director of photography and co-producer Eric Saarinen, ASC (Lost in America,The Hills Have Eyes, Exploratorium),
visits the sites of his father's work on a cathartic journey, shot in
6K with the latest in drone technology that showcases the architect's
body of timeless work for the first time. The documentary also features rare archival interviews with Eero and his second wife, The New York Times
art critic Aline Saarinen, as well as letters and quotations from
Aline's memoirs voiced respectively by Peter Franzén and Blythe Danner.
"Closure was something I didn't have with
my dad. But I forgive him for his genius," said Eric Saarinen, ASC. "He
figured out a way to be important across time, so even though he died
young, he is still alive."
son of prominent Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen and textile designer
Loja Saarinen, Eero was surrounded by design his whole life, as was his
son Eric, whose mother Lily Saarinen was a sculptor, artist and
educator. Immigrating at the age of 13 to Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Eero
attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, designed by Eliel, who taught there
and became the school's first president as well as the chief architect
of the Cranbrook campus, with Eero designing details like gargoyles and
chairs. Eric also grew up at Cranbrook with his parents, grandparents,
their friends and collaborators, including his godparents, designers
Charles and Ray Eames.
"This film is both an immersive look at
an architect's work and a father-son story across generations. Once Eric
agreed to go on this journey with me, I knew the results would be
compelling and revealing," said Emmy-, Peabody- and DGA Award-winning
filmmaker Peter Rosen (American Masters -- Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler, American Masters -- Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes, American Masters: Rubinstein Remembered).
InAmerican Masters - Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future,
Eric also tours North Christian Church and the Miller House (both
National Historic Landmarks in Columbus, Ind.), Deere & Company
World Headquarters (Moline, Ill.) and MIT's Kresge Auditorium
(Cambridge, Mass.). The documentary features new interviews with
architects Kevin Roche, César Pelli, Rafael Viñoly, and Robert A. M.
Stern, and industrial designer Niels Diffrient, who all worked with or
were influenced by Saarinen. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger,
curator Donald Albrecht (Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future), author Jayne Merkel (Eero Saarinen) and Cathleen McGuigan, editor-in-chief of Architectural Record,
also provide perspectives on why Saarinen's work stands apart and
continues to inspire, especially amongst renewed interest in
20th-century architects and artists.
Launched in 1986, American Masters
has earned 28 Emmy Awards -- including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction
Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special -- 12 Peabodys, an
Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors.
To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website (http://pbs.org/americanmasters) offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, educational resources and In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive: previously unreleased interviews of luminaries discussing America's most enduring artistic and cultural giants as well as the American Masters Podcast. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.
American Masters -- Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Futureis a co-production of Peter Rosen Productions, Inc., THIRTEEN's American Masters for WNET, and Detroit Public Television in association with YLE.Peter
Rosen is producer and director. Eric Saarinen, ASC, is director of
photography and co-producer. Blythe Danner is the voice of Aline
Saarinen. Peter Franzén is the voice of Eero Saarinen. Kris Liem and
Adam Zucker are editors with musicby Moby.Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters.
Major funding for American Masters -- Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future
is provided by The A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Additional funding is
provided in part by American Institute of Architects, National Endowment
for the Arts, The Durst Organization, Vital Projects Fund, Eric and
Katherine Larson Family Fund, MCR Development LLC, Gerald D. Hines,
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, KieranTimberlake, KPF Foundation, and Daryl
and Steven Roth Foundation.
Major support for American Masters
is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P.
Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lillian Goldman Programming
Endowment, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Blanche &
Irving Laurie Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Vital Projects Fund,
Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész
Foundation, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer
Foundation, and public television viewers.
WNET is America's flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV,
the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast
channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and
online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public
affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET
produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose
and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and
cultural offerings. WNET's groundbreaking series for children and young
adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus,
the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.
In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the
award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill.
In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which
allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming
anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.