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Eero Saarinen documentary to close PBS's 'American Masters' series

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It will also be available on DVD in January

The swopping, sculptural interior of the TWA Flight Center at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The interior of the TWA Flight Center at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Photo by Max Touhey

Just in time for end-of-year lazing about, the documentary Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future, which opened the Architecture and Design Film Festival earlier this fall, will make its television premiere on PBS as part of its award-winning American Masters series—now in its 30th season—on Tuesday, December 27th.

Directed by Peter Rosen and featuring Saarinen’s son Eric (who is also its director of photography), the film explores the Finnish-American architect’s life and visionary work through ultra-high definition drone footage, rare archival interviews, new interviews with architects Kevin Roche, César Pelli, Rafael Viñoly, and Robert A. M. Stern, as well as with other notable figures. It also tells the story between father and son across generations.

Eric, who was not yet 20 when his father died while undergoing an operation for a brain tumor at age 51, says that he never had closure with his dad. “But I forgive him for his genius,” he adds.

Saarinen is best known for National Historic Landmarks including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, as well as the TWA Flight Center at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Virginia’s Dulles Airport, Yale University’s Ingalls Rink and Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, and other campus buildings. Saarinen also designed iconic furniture pieces for Knoll like the Tulip and Womb chairs, and the Pedestal table.

The documentary will be released on DVD on January 3rd. Watch the trailer below.