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on 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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon June 11, 2012
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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This is a superb documentary. The script is excellent, the cinematography superb. It tells the story of Norman Foster, the Manchester-born architect who studied at Yale and now operates a firm that spans the globe in its reach. The principal themes are NF’s sense of style and his sense of organization. He employs 1400 individuals in his Thames Bank operation. With 20 or so major projects going at one time, NF has created both an organization and a process, the latter of which touches all individuals within the firm.

The documentary provides biographical information, technical information on his major commissions, interviews with many members of his firm and some reflections on life, death, art and immortality.

Even if you have no special interest in architecture, this is a truly fine film. Highly recommended.
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on October 13, 2012
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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on June 14, 2013
Aerial shot of the Millau Viaduct, voice over narration "We had forgotten that useful things could be this beautiful." From the perspective of the crumbling infrastructure of the United States, this movie presents some alternative examples of large projects done for the general good.
Sir Norman favors the speed at which the Chinese are able to complete large projects over the West, comparing the speed at which Beijing's terminal (one of the largest buildings in the world) was with the Heathrow terminal upgrade (still in planning). I am not convinced the Chinese have the right balance, but the debate is well worth having, and this movie is an outstanding start.
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on 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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on May 9, 2015
never really liked mr forster's work bec they is too much clutter holding up the roof, structure etc. very similar to 80s jap architecture which i detest vs avant garde/deconstruction architecture by OMA, BIG, kengo Kuma, LVMH.

what i was interested is insight into the structural engineering aspects of his buildings after reading about FRONT INC & Bjaerke Ingels utube lectures and it seemed more like a PR exercise for forster & partners[which is fine but not what i want in doc].

yes the dvd is high quality but INSIGHT is pretty nil vs utube lectures that one can get insight into the amazing building being put up.
another thing to note is that forster is leveraged to chinese/ME building boom and when central banks cut back on low interest rates, will this boom last?

update: read rowan moore's why we build to get a sobering ie less flattering view of architects[mr foster included]. it will validate my review.sobered me up as well. But cecil balmond's crossover was fantastic
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on June 29, 2012
I had no idea how much of the world's great modern buildings were the product of Norman Foster's work.
Really loved the bit about him getting to work on the Reichstag after being bombed by the German's as a child.
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on July 4, 2013
I saw this documentary at a public showing and bought it to share with my family. We ride bicycles, my children are runners (completing various marathons) and my husband was a sailplane (glider) pilot as was Mr. Foster. I worked for an architect in my post-college days and maintained my interest in building design and city planning. What a fascinating film!
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on August 21, 2015
Excellent documentary on Norman Foster, his work, but also the man and the team behind these revolutionary projects
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