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Emile Norman: By His Own Design

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Jun 15, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

This is a portrait of the artist Emile Norman, who worked with a passion for life, art, nature and freedom that inspired him through seven decades of a changing art scene and turbulent times for a gay man in America. The film chronicles his early days in the San Gabriel Valley, his success in New York City, and the freedom he found in Big Sur, where he and his partner of 30 years created a haven for artists that is still growing today.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: Will Parrinello
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, 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:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018QOIW6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,513 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Emile Norman: By His Own Design" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Emile Norman attended art school for one day. His teacher told him he did his assignment wrong, and Emile quit. Together with his partner Brooks Clemens, he went on to sculpt, create glass and wood mosaics and build and live in the mountains of Big Sur.

This film is a touchstone for those who swim against the tide. Beginning in the 1940's, it follows Emile Norman through the art world, film sets and galleries of California, New York City and back to Big Sur and Carmel. From mosaic zebras to marble statues to the 40 foot marble glass window on the Masonic Temple in San Francisco, Norman not only followed his own artistic visions, he invented many of his own tools, techniques and materials.

But a summary can't describe this film or this artist, or how much this film means to me as an artist attempting to create my own style and survive in realistic economic times. I treasure my copy of this film and wish all people would see it.
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A WONDERFUL MOVIE OF A DEAR, RECENTLY DEPARTED FRIEND. HIS WORK WILL ON FOREVER.
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Emile Norman's art is nothing less than inspirational. One can see the depth of each of his creations even at a glance, but when you examine his work up close, the detail is breathtaking. That kind of care and dedication is what I strive to bring to my work as a singer/instrumentalist/director, where you could take a slice of the finished work and find that the beauty and quality go all the way to its core. He was very musical and poetic in his art, as he possessed a love of music, especially that of J.S. Bach. I was a choral singer for many years at the Carmel Bach Festival, and I remember seeing him in his purple beret at almost every performance. The DVD is very lovingly produced and succeeds in displaying his enormous talent, love for life and good friends, and the touching relationship with the love of his life.
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I caught this documentary on PBS twice, and I had to buy it to watch again and share with others. It's a beautifully made documentary about a one-of-kind unique and special man and artist. I was amazed by him.
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