Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Film Review : Oyler House

Last week was the Architecture and Design Film Festival her in New York. It was the second year that we attended (see post here) and so decided that we would take advantage of more tittles this year.  Seeing as we just have the weekend we packed 3 feature movies with 4 short films into two days. As with all film festivals some were good...and some were really bad! While couple stand out as really remarkable movies that inspired and motivated us (My Brooklyn - a documentary on the changes to downtown Brooklyn focussing on Fulton Mall, and The Grow Dat Youth Farm - a short documentary on the amazing work being done in New Orleans) one movie stood above the rest.  The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat by director Mike Dorsey is an outstanding piece of film making.

Built in 1959 in Lone Pine, California, this bungalow style mid-century modern house is literally all about the view.  With one entire side made of steel-framed glass windows, the house is open to the desert and mountains beyond.  The movie tells the story of Richard Neutra and Richard Oyler and how this piece of architecture played such a crucial part in both of their lives.  With most of the story being told by the incredibly charasmatic Oyler, one really gets a sense of how this house is a truly spectacular piece of architecture.  The current owner, actress Kelly Lynch, and Neutra's son's are interviewed as well helping to round out the perspective of how this house and it's surroundings are truly one of a kind (note the image of the pool below, made from a hollowed out boulder in the on the site).  Dorsey does a wonderful job of bringing the viewer in to the story and helping to make one understand that this is more than just a house.

You can watch the trailer here.  Keep an eye out for the film on Netflix or iTunes, it really is worth a watch and I would love to hear if you have seen it/when you see it, and how it has inspired you.

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