Architect Margaret McCurry and Filmmaker Michael Caplan discuss their take on the classic 1949 film The Fountainhead.

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The Fountainhead   (King Vidor, 1949)

In this adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel, Gary Cooper stars as Howard Roark, a fiercely independent architect. Rather than compromise his ideals, Roark takes menial work as a quarryman. He falls in love with heiress Dominique but ends the relationship when he is finally able construct buildings according to his own wishes.  Running time: 114 minutes  Watch the trailer for The Fountainhead.

Margaret McCurry

A principal in the architectural and design firm of Tigerman McCurry and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Margaret McCurry received her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Vassar College and her Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.  She is the recipient of many Honor Awards from the National AIA, numerous Distinguished Building and Interior Architecture Awards from the Chicago Chapter, and both National and Local Interior Design Project Awards from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).  Her work has been published widely in architectural and interior magazines and exhibited at museums and galleries here and abroad.  It is documented in a monograph, Margaret McCurry: Constructing Twenty-Five Short Stories (2000) published by Monacelli Press as well as Distillations: The Architecture of Margaret McCurry, published by ORO Editions (2011).

Michael Caplan

Michael Caplan is an independent film director, producer and educator.  He has directed and produced documentary and fiction feature films in Chicago for the last 25 years.  Caplan is an Associate Professor in the Cinema Art + Science Department at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches documentary and narrative film production as well as creative producing classes. 

He was one of ten Chicago filmmakers who were recently commissioned by the Chicago International Film Festival to direct and write a one-minute film to play during the 2015 festival.  His most recent feature length project, ALGREN, is a documentary that explores the life and legacy of Nelson Algren, the National Book Award-winning author of Man With the Golden Arm and Walk on the Wild Side.  The film premiered in 2014 at the Chicago International Film Festival with sold out screenings, and rave reviews, from the Hollywood Reporter to the Chicago Tribune.  It also screened at the Music Box Theatre as part of an inaugural documentary series at the famed art house theatre in Chicago.

Caplan also directed and wrote A Magical Vision, a film that spotlights internationally acclaimed magician, philosopher, and guru of the magical arts, Eugene Burger. The film premiered at the Gene Siskel Theatre in Chicago in 2008 and was an award winning film at international film festivals. 

Caplan’s documentary, Stones from the Soil, showed on national PBS in 2004.  The film is a personal film about a unique school in 1930's Germany, in which a small group of Jewish teenagers were trained to become the vanguard of a new society. 

As a producer, Caplan has produced three feature films, including The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, which was acclaimed by The New York Times as “praiseworthy, intense, frenetic, frank, and touching… preserving not just a performance but the spirit of a time.”

This program is presented in association with the Chicago International Film Festival and with support from ArcelorMittal.