The leading French Art Nouveau architect and designer Hector Guimard stood aloof from the chaos into which the New Style too often collapsed; he created a style of his own, unique, beautiful and inimitable. His best-known work is the entrances to the original Paris subway stations. He was nicknamed Handsome Hector - his two passions in life were design and pretty women - and it seems that the voluptuous curves of his balconies and balustrades, his lampstands and tablelegs, his bedheads and drinking glasses, drew their inspiration from the opulent curves of his female friends. For Guimard furnished the houses that he built himself, creating a whole world of his own design, and while some of his contemporaries sneered that he was improperly trained, or that he 'scorned history,' he became rich and famous. He designed apartment blocks, a girls' school, a concert hall, mansions and villas in the best part of Paris, all in a manner so complex and individual that it was impossible to imitate - in fact, he was the first of the great individualists of twentieth-century design. This stylish film draws the viewer irresistibly into Guimard's world.
Gold Lion, Venice Prix Max Ophuls, Paris Quality Prize and Quality Award, French National Film Center
Directors/Narration: Yves Plantin: Alain Blondel Original music: Jeff Gilson