Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings And Legacy In Japan

One neglected aspect of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career is his involvement with Japanincluding a series of visits that spanned 17 years in the early 20th century, the abiding influence of Japanese art and architecture on his work, and the impact of his own work on Japanese architects. This informative documentary by Chicagoan Karen Severns and her Japanese husband, Koichi Mori, doesn’t give the whole story; it favors the view from Japan and skimps on the Japanese influences on Wright’s American buildings. But it offers fascinating material about Wright assistants Arata Endo (with whom Wright even shared architectural credit on occasion) and Antonin Raymond (who became a leading Japanese modernist), and its account of the now-vanished Imperial Hotel, one of Wright’s masterpieces, is priceless. 128 min. (JR)

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