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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? (2010)

Norman Foster , Paul Goldberger , Norberto Lopez Amado , Carlos Carcas  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Norman Foster, Paul Goldberger, Buckminster Fuller, Richard Rogers, Deyan Sudjic
  • Directors: Norberto Lopez Amado, Carlos Carcas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007IKRV6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Born in Manchester, England, on the wrong side of the tracks, Norman Foster rose from a humble working class background to become one of the premiere modern architects of our time. Beautifully filmed in over ten countries and homing in on his most iconic works, including London's Swiss Re Tower, New York's Hearst Building, Berlin's Reichstag, Beijing Airport's International Terminal and the breathtaking Millau Viaduct, over the Gorges du Tarn in France, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? is an unprecedented exploration of an architect whose quest is to improve the quality of life through design, and his work, which offers striking solutions to humanity's increasing demands.


Elegant and stylish. This rich, revealing documentary about world-renowned, prolific British architect Norman Foster - as productive and creative as he is inspirational - could attract legions of young people to the profession just as it enlightens older "civilians" to the beauty and function of architecture in a new, more demanding century. The true poetic beauty of the film comes across most strikingly by way of screen time given to many of his hundreds of projects-huge and small structures spread across the globe. --Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal

This admiring documentary gives the viewer quite a lot to marvel at. Accompanied by Joan Valent's pulsing, soaring score, the camera swoops over some of Mr. Foster's largest and best-known structures and floats through the bright and airy interiors of his skyscrapers. Even before you hear Paul Goldberger describe Mr. Foster as 'the Mozart of Modernism,' you can appreciate the grace and harmony of his compositions in glass, steel and light. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Dazzlingly shot, stirring. The filmmakers' cameras capture the beauty and breadth of his output with eye-popping swoop and grandeur. The film is an architecture lover's dream. --Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
British architect Norman Foster may not be as well-known as Frank Gehry but his design projects are just as iconic and inventive. There's the Heart Building in New Yoprk, the Swiss Re Tower in London (that looks like a silver bullet) and the amazing Millau Viaduct in France. This 77-minute documentary will fill you in on the architect and his projects with significant discussion by the man himself. Other interviewees include fellow architects and architecture journalists. While Foster is an engaging speaker - as are the other interviewees, the narrator for this film is - frankly - boring in voice. And the slow music that is added are at odds with the exciting architecture we see on the screen. The interviewees are identified in the lower left corner of the screen but the typeface is white and often difficult to read. This low contrast is also evident in the two "extras" on this DVD: A text-only interview with the filmmakers and the bios of the filmmakers.

Architecture fans or those interested in design will want to see this film and it should interest those, like me, that enjoy documentaries. If only they had chosen a narrator whose voice is exciting as Foster's work.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece... October 20, 2012
If Foster is the master of his elegant taste, creations and accomplishments, the individuals who put this masterpiece DVD together are the masters of their trades. Beautiful cinematography, well written story with a narrator that allows you to sink in not only the life of this individual who has created not buildings but architecture that it will move your senses unbelievably but the creations and cinematography will be a feast for your eyes and the music a feast for your ears. Foster could have not asked for a better director to document his legacy which will last for many decades to come. Wish Foster all the blessings in the world. The last few minutes of this masterpiece where Foster describes his life and close encounters with death, are truly spiritual. Bravo, bravo, bravo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foster's Movie is excellent October 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
I love architecture. I have seen Frank Ghery's piece by Sydny Pollack, FLW piece by Ken Burns and about 40 other architecture movies. This one is in the top 5. Exceptional videography, music score is excellent, story is very well written, editing at times is on genuis level, this is a good movie. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but just scratches the surface August 11, 2012
Considering the number of buildings Sir Norman Foster has designed, I realize that it would be impossible to discuss the design philosophy behind his every major building in a 90 plus minute film. Having said that, I would recommend this film to any architecture lover, who is curious about N. Foster.
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