Thursday, October 14, 2010

BIFF Spotlight: "Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture"

Last Wednesday night, the film Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture made its New York debut during The Buffalo International Film Festival to a nearly sold-out crowd of enthusiastic preservationists. Screened at The Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre on Main Street, the documentary chronicles the unconventional life of an architect who set the tone for his unconventional career by dropping out of MIT after only one year of study.

First-time director Mark Richard Smith flew in from Chicago for the event and had great things to say about the restoration of Buffalo's Guaranty Building (which was featured prominently in the film and even graces the cover of the DVD).

The film itself was a gorgeous meditation on a life less ordinary, the festival was proof that art stimulates local economies, and Sullivan's continuing legacy in Buffalo (The Guaranty Building was saved from demolition years ago) is a reminder that there are other people out there who are passionate about restoring the neglected cores of New York's historic upstate cities.