“Unexpected Modernism: The Wiener Brothers Story” is set to hit the screen during this year’s Modernism Week. The locally produced film tells the story of Jewish architects Samuel G. and William B. Wiener, half brothers from Shreveport, whose modernist designs of residential, institutional, and commercial buildings from the 1930s through the 1960s made Shreveport an early hub of International Modernist design in the United States.
Modernism Week will take place February 17 – 27, highlighting midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. The annual festival hosted over 160,000 attendees during its last in-person festival in 2020, and this year will feature hundreds of events including tours of iconic homes, walking tours, and nightly parties. Unexpected Modernism will be the featured screening on the evening of February 24th.
“Getting this honor has been our proudest moment for our film,” said Gregory Kallenberg, director of “Unexpected Modernism”. “The world needs to rediscover the important work of the Wiener brothers, and I can’t think of a better place than the incredibly influential Modernism Week in Palm Springs.”
The film had its international debut at the Film and Architecture Festival in Prague, Czech Republic this past October. Unexpected Modernism also won a 2021 Gold Telly Award for General Documentary.
Local fans will be able to see “Unexpected Modernism” in Shreveport on May 20. The event will coincide with the launch of an interactive map for architectural tourists seeking out the Wiener brothers’ work. The site is being created by Rational Middle Media and is being funded in part through federal funds from the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, through the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Office, Office of Cultural Development, Division of Historic Preservation.
“This is only the beginning of our work to bring focus to two local architects who brought modernism to the United States,” said Kallenberg. “Our intention is to shine as bright a light as possible on the Wiener brothers and their impact on the world of architecture.”
To view and to learn more about the film, visit unexpectedmodernism.com.