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Regular or Super - Views on Mies van der Rohe (2005)

Mies van der Rohe , Rem Koolhaas , A Film by Joseph Hillel & Patrick Demers  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Regular or Super - Views on Mies van der Rohe + How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? + Rem Koolhaas: Kind of Architect
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mies van der Rohe, Rem Koolhaas, Elizabeth Diller, Phyllis Lambert, Joseph Fujikawa
  • Directors: A Film by Joseph Hillel & Patrick Demers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017ZBLLE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Delightfully thoughtful and sensual... is itself a model of design. Cinematographer Francois Dutil lavishes tracking shots on Mies landmarks [and] highlights lustrous details, always attuned to the interplay of light, shadow and rain with Mies' glass, steel and concrete. Ramachandra Borcar's superb jazz score cues the eye to spatial rhythms in Mies' facades and plazas. The architectural experts on hand...prove to be adept wordsmiths in their aptly edited soundbites. A lens for looking at Mies' modernist and minimalist style. --Chicago Sun-Times

* * * * [4 out of 4 stars!] Should be seen immediately! --The Gazette

A fitting tribute to the work of Mies van der Rohe, legendary architect of the 20th century. --Le Devoir

Product Description

In 1967, at the end of a career spanning more than six decades, which included the design of the Seagram Building in New York, the Lake Shore Drive Apartment Buildings in Chicago, and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) designed a simple gas station near Montreal. The story of that gas station serves as the point of departure for REGULAR OR SUPER, which examines Mies' entire body of work (more than 70 buildings) and a sparse style that reflects his motto that less is more.

Mies began his architectural career in Germany early in the 20th century and during the Thirties taught at the famed Bauhaus School of Art and Design in Berlin. In 1938, after the school was shut down by the Nazis, Mies emigrated to Chicago where he designed 22 buildings for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Over the next three decades, in a radical break from the predominant beaux arts style, he refined a distinctive, modernist architectural style emphasizing glass and steel in a variety of buildings whose structures creatively integrated surrounding public space.

Featuring stylish cinematography and an evocative jazz score, REGULAR OR SUPER illustrates many of Mies' classic buildings, combining these striking facades with observations from some architecture superstars, including Rem Koolhaas, Elizabeth Diller and Phyllis Lambert, which are interlaced with anecdotes from customers and neighbors of the gas station, plus comments from his biographer and family members.

REGULAR OR SUPER is a fascinating and informative introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential architects and a thought-provoking demonstration of the social and artistic contributions that architecture at its best can make to our urban environments.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Regular or Super but Little Gas July 2, 2008
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I had two reactions to this DVD; the first was that it was badly made and failed to tell a coherent story while the second reaction was that the stories told by those who knew and worked with Mies were very interesting. Some of the interviews are fleshed out in the DVD's extras section, which sadly displays some really dreadful zooming in and out on the heads of the people being interviewed. In fact I found the personal stories in the extras far more interesting than the actual production, though the dreadful camera work obviously prevented their inclusion.
The DVD mainly concentrates on commercial/high rise buildings and although it gives some attention to the Riehl House, both Villa Tugendhat and the Farnsworth House are almost totally ignored (you do see a model of Tugendhat and a pan across the deck of Farnsworth, which appears to be a photograph. Given the proximity of the Farnsworth House to Chicago, where a great deal of this documentary was shot, its omission is surprising. What I found particularly annoying was the amount of time spent on a service station Mies designed shortly before his death. It is from this service station that the documentary takes its title (I'm lost as to the importance placed on this building by the director); for me this just went on and on and on and while nice to look at, it's really not that interesting a structure. Clearly, however, the director was quite fascinated by it.

They do say that great architecture needs a great client and Mies had some excellent clients who are given the recognition they rightly deserve, particularly Herbert Greenwald a Chicago developer with whom Mies had a close professional relationship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great score, but content a little thin October 12, 2009
I loved the original jazz score in this 50 minute documentary. It seems to enhance the architecture on view. I was disappointed that nothing was said about the furniture designed by Van der Rohe, although several talking heads are sitting on his famous Barcelona chair! The film centers on a wonderful Montreal gas station designed shortly before his death, but there is plenty of attention paid to NYC's Seagram Building, perhaps his finest. Was there no footage at all of the architect himself? He never appears, except in stills. Watch this if you're interested in his fabulous architecture, but it could have been twice the length and better done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great teaching tool April 25, 2014
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This is a great teaching tool when teaching or introducing the student to the world of architecture with good introduction and visuals.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! April 29, 2008
A wonderful testament to the legacy of Mies van der rohe. I highly recommend it.
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