A true story about architecture, design, politics and human nature in the 20th century.
Germany, 1919: a group of young people meet in a small town on the cutting edge of a worldwide revolution in art, politics, design and architecture. They are destined to invent the future and rebuild the world; the Bauhaus is their knife. Inspired by the genius of its celebrated artists and designers, the school generates tremendous heat and influence for fourteen stormy years - until Hitler seizes power in 1933.
Bauhaus In America draws this dynamic story into the sweep of history, from the shanty towns of the Great Depression to the steel towers of the Millennium and beyond. It's unique overview and eyewitness perspective have made it an international classic.
The film opens with three Americans - who were students there - reliving the day the Nazis closed the Bauhaus in Berlin. As the Bauhaus' leading designers are driven into exile, they transform the look of America's cities, interiors, design and art - and are profoundly transformed themselves in the process. Their success has consequences they could never have imagined in Germany.
The circle is closed, decades later, by American students creating a plan for 21st-century Berlin, pointing to a renaissance of Bauhaus ideas now that post-Modernism has sung its song. The Bauhaus is back where it began: in the hands of young people inventing the future and rebuilding the world.
Bauhaus In America presents some of the most compelling images and ideas of our time, revealed entirely through the work and opinions (candid and intensely personal) of the Bauhaus' survivors, enthusiasts, and sworn enemies.
The film highlights Bauhaus icons: Philip Johnson's glass house; the retreat built by Mies for Edith Farnsworth outside Chicago; and Gropius' own home near Boston -- and explores Bauhaus visions: Josef Albers' (Black Mountain College/Yale); and Moholy-Nagy's (New Bauhaus/Institute of Design).
Cast includes: Anni Albers, Edward Larabee Barnes, James Ingo Freed, Bertrand Goldberg, Michael Graves, Helmut Jahn, Sidney Janis, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, I.M. Pei, Stanley Tigerman, and Tom Wolfe, author of From Bauhaus to Our House.
"BAUHAUS IN AMERICA is a visually stunning documentary that explores the impact of the Bauhaus on American architecture and design from the 1930's to almost the present day. Far more subtly, the film also considers the impact of American culture and technology on the emigres and on their work here. Pearlman has interwoven a wonderful array of historic stills and film clips along with artful filming of her own that illustrates the story of the Bauhaus and its legacy as no book ever has or could. Though it reflects on an historic subject, it is a timely film and brings to the record a group of articulate architects and designers who will not always be around to share their Bauhaus experience with us." - Journal of Architectual Education.
"Pearlman's film is an engrossing and informative look at the Bauhaus revolution in architecture and its stars, once they immigrated to the United States. The film is tinged with, but doesn't wallow in, nostalgia for the hothouse of creativity that was born in Weimar in 1919. BAUHAUS IN AMERICA is expertly edited and handsomely filmed, with attention paid to the aesthetics of the backdrops for its articulate talking heads." - Boston Globe.
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