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Review: Big Time is an engaging doc about an architect who wants to make his mark on history

Big Time captures Bjarke Ingels jetting back and forth between New York and Copenhagen and imagining fantastic work in both places.


3 out of 4 stars

Big Time
Written by
Kaspar Astrup Schröder
Directed by
Kaspar Astrup Schröder
Bjarke Ingels

"To create something the world has not yet seen." That's the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels describing his ambitions, the size of which is captured by the name of his office: BIG. This engaging doc captures the young lion jetting back and forth between New York and Copenhagen and imagining fantastic work in both places, including a power plant topped with a ski slope and a Manhattan apartment building that twists the skyscraper into a novel new shape. Somewhat incredibly, the buildings come to life: Kaspar Astrup Schröder puts Ingels's remarkable communication skills to work through a series of sketches and chats, and then shows us the finished products. Importantly, Schröder goes beyond the hype to show that building big is no easy business: from schmoozing with an American developer to greeting Danish royalty to arguing over the finish of aluminum facade panels, Ingels's life comes across as exhausting, stressful and, at least until the last 30 minutes, lonely. But the designer desperately wants to make his mark on history, and after this you won't want to bet against him.

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