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Springing from the conviction that an artist's work will speak for itself, providing the deepest and most telling insights into the creator, Heinz Emigholz's documentary Schindler's Houses introduces audiences to Austrian-born architect Rudolf Schindler (1887-1953) with an onscreen panoply of the Los Angeles-area homes that he designed. Emigholz presents 40 of the structures, in their current surroundings, sans voice-over but with direct sound; the film begins with Schindler's own Kings' Road House in West Hollywood (built in 1922) and then moves forward in time through his creations of the 1950s. In many of the shots, Emigholz films the rooms at salient angles, thus subtly reframing Schindler's designs for audience dissection. He also touches on the questions of gradual dilapidation and the encroachment of nature, as those forces begin to reshape Schindler's buildings. Meanwhile, on a broader level, the documentarist uses the film to etch out an impression of not simply Schindler's work, but of domestic living environments in contemporary Los Angeles per se. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi, Rovi
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