- Directed by Murray Grigor
“The purpose of architecture,” said John Lautner, “is to create timeless, free, joyous spaces for all activities in life.”
Infinite Space, a new documentary feature film, traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” It is the story of brilliance and of a complicated life – and the most sensual architecture of the 20th century.
As a young man, Lautner broke from his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, and went west to California to forge his own unique style. His life was marked by innovation and inspiration, endless battles with building codes, an accidental leap into the epicenter of pop culture, bitterness at lost opportunities, and finally – monumental achievement. Lautner was idolized by young modernists, criticized by academics, and beloved by the clients who worked side by side with him to build their houses. It was a life in pursuit of beauty.
Renowned architectural filmmaker Murray Grigor explores Lautner’s dramatic spaces with choreographed camera moves, as Lautner himself provides the commentary, speaking with insight and wit in recordings culled from archival sources. Other voices join him: Frank Gehry on how he was influenced by Lautner, the emotional memories of original clients, owners and builders, the recollections of actor Sean Connery on filming in a Lautner house, the remarks of Julius Shulman who famously photographed all the great modernists, as well as the droll comments of young Dutch architects as they pursue their quest to see every Lautner house in the world.
Original drawings and historical photographs from the John Lautner Archives at the Getty Museum are layered with the artistic photography of seminal buildings, bringing to life Lautner’s quest to create timeless space.
John Lautner was one of last century’s important contemporary American architects. His work was concerned with the relationship of the human being to space and of space to nature. “Shelter,” he said, “is the most basic human need.”
Lautner practiced architecture for more than 55 years, designing unusual and unique residences in and near Los Angeles, including Silvertop, the Chemosphere, the Sheats/Goldstein residence, the Levy residence, and the Elrod residence (Palm Springs, CA), as well as many others around the world. He was also responsible for the innovative design of some restaurants (Henry’s, Googies, Tiny Naylor’s).
Sponsored by Stantec Architecture Ltd.