The critically acclaimed documentary Unfinished Spaces will premiere on PBS today at 10pm (ET). The film reveals the turbulent past of Fidel Castro’s Cuba and tells the story of his utopian dream to construct the Cuban National Arts Schools.
In 1961, in the heady first days of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro asked three visionary architects to build the Cuban National Arts Schools on what had been the golf course of a country club. Before construction was completed, the Revolution became Sovietized, and suddenly the project was denounced as bourgeois and counter-revolutionary. These radical, magnificent buildings become a prism through which we see the turbulent, ever-shifting history of Castro’s Cuba and follow the fates of the three architects, now in their 80s, who may get a second chance to revitalize their utopian project.
Although it has been rumored that Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta has selected Norman Foster to complete the Vittoria Garatti’s School of Ballet, the status of this claim still remains unknown.
Read more about the history of Unfinished Spaces here on ArchDaily.
As we published yesterday, iconic Chinese artist, designer, and dissident, Ai Weiwei has just had his architecture design firm shutdown by the Chinese government. But this scuffle is only the latest of Weiwei’s many brushes with Chinese law. Seemingly since birth (“I was born radical“), Weiwei has been mixing art and politics to speak out against censorship in his country. Which is why he is the subject of a fascinating new feature-length documentary by Alison Klayman: ”Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.”
As the documentary description explains: “Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.”
While working as a journalist in China, the director, Klayman, gained unprecedented access to Ai while filming. Since being released, the documentary has gained many accolades, including the Sundance 2012 Special Jury Award for Spirit of Defiance.
You can find out more about the documentary, including if it’s playing at a theater near you at its website. And you can keep updated on Weiwei’s struggle at the Never Sorry Facebook page and on Twitter, @AWWNeverSorry
Screenshots from the trailer of “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” after the break…
Watch Profile of Robert A.M. Stern on PBS. See more from Architect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the Past.
PBS producer and host Geoffrey Baer tells the story of Robert A.M. Stern – a Brooklyn boy who grew up to be self-proclaimed Modern traditionalist architect who has not only significantly impacted the streets of Manhattan but the architectural profession as a whole. Many of his close friends and colleagues describe “Bob” as an intelligent, witty, sarcastic provocateur who is warm, giving person that is always an architect first. Stern has also greatly influenced the profession with his many publications. He believes writing gives architects the opportunity to contribute by describing and explaining the principals behind ones ideas. When referring to his passion for writing, Stern comments, “What would I do on Saturday? I don’t play golf.”
Be sure to check out the complete documentary here on the PBS website and learn about Stern’s influence on transforming a seedy version of New York’s beloved 42nd street into the glamorous place it is today.
Yesterday, we announced the WTTW premier of the new 30-minute documentary, Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour. If you missed it, there is no need to worry. You can watch the documentary right here on ArchDaily! Host Geoffrey Baer takes you on a fascinating tour through Graves’ life and legacy, with in-depth tours inside some his famous works and commentary from many of his good friends, such as Peter Eisenman and Denise Scott Brown. Learn about the influences that shaped each chapter of Graves’ life, from the boy who aspired to be an artist, to modernism and The New York Five, then onto post modernism, product design and his most recent focus on health care.
Want more? You can watch exclusive web clips here. Enjoy!
Previously featured on ArchDaily:
Premiering tomorrow on WTTW – one of Chicago’s PBS television stations – will be the new 30-minute documentary Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour. Popular Chicago TV tour host Geoffrey Baer profiles the life and work of the internationally acclaimed architect and winner of the 2012 Driehaus Prize for Classical and Traditional Architecture. The documentary will air Thursday, March 22 at 8PM.
Continue reading for more information on the documentary and view updated images of the Wounded Warrior Project. (more…)