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SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY

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Director Sydney Pollack casts his lens over the work of his friend, architect Frank Gehry. Their partnership on this film is anchored by a challenge each faces in his respective discipline: how to achieve personal and artistic fulfillment against stringent commercial demands. It's a great hook that is too often subsumed in the open adoration of all things Gehry. Pollack's film feels like an offhanded quickie, often dully filmed, though it's salvaged through Gehry's anecdotes and reflections on himself through his prism of self-deprecating egomania. Pollack also interviews the usual suspects ... fellow architects, critics, colleagues ... most of whom worship at Gehry's altar (the rare dissenting voices here are quite mild). And of Gehry's structures, much of their impact ... to be experienced by those in or near them  ... is lost to the flatness of film. Regardless, Sketches will surely be of interest to fans, and to those who might be curious what all the fuss is about Gehry. Starts Fri., July 14. Squirrel Hill (AH)

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