Award-winning writer-director Nathaniel Kahn returns to Chestnut Hill later this month for a question-and-answer session following the screening of “My Architect,” his Oscar-nominated homage to his father, visionary architect Louis Kahn.
It will be shown as part of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society’s celebration of 20th century architecture in Chestnut Hill, sponsored by Elfant Wissahickon Realtors. The screening will be held at the Woodmere Art Museum at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30. Light refreshments will be served.
A film-festival favorite, “My Architect” earned Kahn the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary in 2004 and four-and-half stars from Roger Ebert. Subtitled “A Son’s Journey,” it weaves together a biography of the elder Kahn, a tour of his major buildings, and a son’s search for his largely absent and always elusive father into an emotionally and visually compelling narrative.
The great achievements of Louis Kahn’s professional life – monumental buildings like the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Ca., and the spectacular national capitol complex at Dacca, Bangladesh – are chronicled with dramatic cinematography. The private drama of his personal life – his longstanding extramarital affairs with two different women, one of whom was Nathaniel Kahn’s mother – is equally explored. The film shines a bright light on the genius of the architect, but the identity of the man remains something of an enigma.
In addition to this special screening of “My Architect,” the Historical Society is also presenting an exhibit at it’s headquarters and a self-guided tour of five outstanding mid-century Modern homes. This project is made possible with the additional support of E.B. Mahoney Builders, Matthew Millan Architects, Inc., McCoubrey/Overholser Building Construction, Nolan Painting, Runyan & Associates Architects, and VSBA, LLC. Anyone attending these events will receive a copy of our newly revised “20th Century Chestnut Hill” map and guide, compliments of Valley Green Bank.
Tickets for the screening are $15, available at www.chhist.org and at CHHS, 8708 Germantown Ave., up until 6:30 p.m. on May 30th. Woodmere Art Museum policy prohibits on site sales. Admission is free for CHHS members and can be reserved online. The site also includes links to the trailer for “My Architect” and to a TED talk by Nathaniel Kahn that includes clips from the film.