Chelsea Hotel (Arena, BBC 1981)

15 04 2010

1981 BBC documentary on the famous New York hotel and its colorful inhabitants. The documentary is incomplete here but still a worthwhile watch. Some highlights include Andy Warhol and William Burroughs having dinner; Quentin Crisp pontificating in a blue rinse hairdo on his balcony and Nico performing “Chelsea Girls”.


Frank Gehry: From 1990, defending a vision for architecture

10 04 2010

Speaking at TED in 1990, the not-yet-legendary architect Frank Gehry takes a whistlestop tour of his work to date, from his own Venice Beach house to the under-construction American Center in Paris. In this 50-minute slideshow (before TED’s 18-minute limit), Gehry explains the site-specific nature of his buildings — context he felt was lost in the discussions of his then-controversial work. In this candid and funny talk, he exposes his own messy creative process (“I take pieces and bits, and look at it, and struggle with it, and cut it away…”) and the way he struggles with problems (“This model on the left is pretty awful. I was ready to commit suicide when this was built … If any of you have ideas on it, please contact me. I don’t know what to do”).

The Perfect Home (Channel 4)

25 01 2010

The complete series in one episode. Alain de Botton goes in search of answers to our housing crisis, and comes up with some suggestions for the perfect home: a kind of architecture that can make us happy.