15 Essential Films About Famous Architects

There’s been a flurry of activity in the world of film and architecture this week. Notable LA filmmaker and film critic Thom Andersen released his unconventional documentary Reconversão about last year’s Pritzker Prize-winning architect Eduardo Souto de Moura and their mutual fascination — one you know we share — with abandoned spaces, contemporary ruins and the societal conflicts that create them. Add to that an intriguing Kickstarter for Great Spaces, a web series by four young design enthusiasts exploring the world one space at a time, showed up in our inbox and persuaded us to champion their worthy cause.

To celebrate the very best of multidisciplinary mash-ups, we thought we’d take a look at some of the fantastic films about architects that have been made over the years. From one of the most inspiring films you will ever see about husband-wife creative powerhouse Charles and Ray Eames (notably narrated by our favorite art house badboy James Franco) to Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack’s look at America’s design darling, Frank Gehry, click through to check out our picks for must-see films focused on one of the most enigmatic and conflicted characters in the world: the architect.

The Architect and The Painter, directed by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey

Narrated by none other than James Franco, this look at Charles and Ray Eames explores their great influence on the development of modernism, the rise of the computer age, and their approach to running an unconventionally creative workplace that created everything from iconic mid-century furniture to splints for wounded military during World War II. The film also delves into their personal life, notably the challenges of being a woman — and the wife — in a creative partnership during a time when all attention was devoted to the men of the world.