Fallingwater | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


"It really jumps out at you, and it's a whole new way of looking at the house."

click to enlarge Fallingwater

Local filmmaker Ken Love is known for his documentaries on Pittsburgh history, such as one about photographer Teenie Harris. But he's also made several films about famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, for the 75th anniversary of the construction of Wright's landmark Fallingwater, Love has updated his own 1994 doc about the house built over a waterfall as a country home for Pittsburgh's Kaufmann department-store family.

Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece, With Reflections of Edward Kaufmann Jr., premieres locally on Nov. 15, at the Three Rivers Film Festival edition of the Film Kitchen series.

Like the 1994 documentary, the new 55-minute version still centers on an in-depth 1982 interview Love helped conduct with family scion Edgar Kaufmann Jr. -- the Wright apprentice who introduced his parents to the legendary architect. "He's just eloquent," Love enthuses about Kaufmann, who died in 1989.

The film also still includes vintage Kaufmann-family home movies.

But Love augments such footage with new high-definition video of the fabled structure's interior and exterior, shot in all seasons in its picturesque forest setting in the Laurel Highlands (near Ohiopyle). Newer cameras allowed Love to capture details in low light in a way he couldn't have 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, the 1994 version was formatted for a traditional "narrow-screen" TV format, but the update was shot in widescreen. "It really jumps out at you, and it's a whole new way of looking at the house," says Love. The filmmaker compares the upgrade to the way Wright himself sought, with structures like Fallingwater, to "break the box" of conventional building design.

Following in the footsteps of the 1994 film, which has screened internationally, this updated Fallingwater premiered at New York's Guggenheim Museum, where it's already had multiple screenings.

Love will attend the Film Kitchen screening.


FALLINGWATER 8 p.m. Tue., Nov. 15 (7 p.m. reception). Regent Square Theater, $9

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