[Evan Mather's] riveting new documentary A Necessary Ruin … manages not only to make engineering sexy and preservation politics compelling, but succinctly tells the tale of one of the most tragic architectural plunderings in recent memory. – Sam Lubell, The Architect’s Newspaper
Upon its completion in October 1958, the Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the largest clear-span structure in the world. Based on the engineering principles of the visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller, this geodesic dome was, at 384 feet in diameter, the first large scale example of this building type. A Necessary Ruin relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the dome’s history via interviews with architects, engineers, preservationists, media, and artists; animated sequences demonstrating the operation of the facility; and hundreds of rare photographs and video segments taken during the dome’s construction, decline, and demolition. (Evan Mather, U.S.A., 2009, 29:54)
DIR Evan Mather NARRATION Frances Anderton CAST Ward Bond, Ed Cullen, J. Michael Desmond, Meg Holford, Andrew Lehr, Dick Lehr, Ivan Massar, Evan Mather, Mary Price, Allegra Fuller Snyder, Suzanne Turner PROD Hand Crafted Films ANIMATION Evan Mather IMAGE Mel Borel, John DeFraites, Meg Holford, Andrew Lehr, Ivan Massar, Evan Mather MUSIC Juuso Auvinen THANKS The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Mrs. Bert S. Turner, The Estate of Buckminster Fuller, The Department of Special Collections at Stanford University, The T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History at Louisiana State University, The Union Tank Car Company, The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and AHBE Landscape Architects.
SCREENINGS 2010 Environmental Film Festival (National Building Museum), Laemmle Town Center 5 (Los Angeles), “Modernism at Risk” (NY/AIA Center for Architecture), Dwell on Design (Los Angeles), onSCREEN (Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles), AIA New Orleans Center for Design, Architecture and the City Festival (AIA San Francisco), Fresh Asheville (Asheville, NC), DOCOMOMO Georgia (Atlanta), Greenbuild 2010 (Chicago), Budapesti Építészeti Filmnapok (Budapest, Hungary), 2011 AFFR (Architectuur Film Festival Rotterdam).
US$15 via PayPal / Educational Use US$125 via PayPal / contains the 30-minute documentary short film A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome (2009) by Evan Mather / “A Necessary Loss” essay by Matthew Clayfield / sequence of the deteriorating Union Tank Car Dome from Scenic Highway (2006) / thirteen additional short films: So What? (2007), The Image of the City (2006), Expressions (2005), A Fool’s Errand (2004), My Big Fat Independent Movie – Title Sequence (2004), Pavlov’s Bell (2003), Revert (2002), Icarus of Pittsburgh (2002), Red Vines (2001), Airplane Glue (2001), Fansom the Lizard (2000), Buena Vista Fight Club (1999), and Vert (1999)