Great Expectations

52mins2007NR
director
Jesper Wachtmeister
This documentary provides an astonishing journey through innovative, futuristic, utopian and sometimes bizarre architecture projects-including concrete illusions of grandeur and Lego-like modular apartments to an Instant City Airship and round, grass-covered subterranean dwellings-from the beginning of the 20th century to today.

Since the end of the 19th century, due to industrialization and rapid technological progress, mankind has been confronted with new problems and possibilities. Visionary architects and artists, motivated by contemporary problems, including housing shortages, urban decay and pollution, set about to create changes in our ways of living that challenged conventional concepts of the good, the true and the beautiful.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS introduces us to the most significant architectural movements and personalities of the 20th century, including, among many others, Le Corbusier's functionalist cities, Buckminster Fuller's lightweight geodesic domes, Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67 prefab apartments, Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum and other anthroposophy buildings in Switzerland, Oscar Niemeyer's sleek urban designs for Brasilia, Paolo Soleri's "archology" of crystal-like desert cities, Antti Lovag's curved surfaces of Palais Bulles in France, Jacque Fresco's utopian Venus Project in Florida, and Peter Cook and Colin Fournier's biomorphic Kunsthaus Graz in Austria.

Using archival and contemporary footage, animation and interviews, GREAT EXPECTATIONS tells the fascinating story of these grand architectural visions, both realized and unrealized, as explained by great thinkers with revolutionary, if not always successful, ideas.

Recommended For You
Nanking - Narrated
Nanking - Narrated
2007 | 90mins
R
War
A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, this award-winning documentary tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. As part of a campaign to conquer all of China, the Japanese subjected Nanking?which was then China's capital?to months of aerial bombardment, and when the city fell, the Japanese army unleashed murder and rape on a horrifying scale. In the midst of the rampage, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. Unarmed, these missionaries, university professors, doctors and businessmen?including a Nazi named John Rabe?bore witness to the events, while risking their own lives to protect civilians from slaughter. The story is told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, chilling archival footage and photos, testimonies of former Japanese soldiers?and a staged reading of the Westerners' letters and diaries by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Jurgen Prochnow and others. NANKING is a testament to the courage and conviction of individuals who were determined to act in the face of evil and a powerful tribute to the resilience of the Chinese people?a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. This version of the film features descriptive narration for the blind and visually impaired, created by the Narrative Television Network.
directors
starring
Nanking - Narrated