production notes
about the director

production notes

the sea islands | twa terminal | marian anderson |
the hammerstein ballroom | gordon parks

Since its completion in 1962, Eero Saarinen's curvilinear TWA Terminal at New York's JFK International Airport has been hailed as an icon of modern design. There's no other building like it: Its soaring, graceful form was meant to evoke the romance and excitement of flight, and even the smallest interior details - ticket counters, chairs, signs, and telephone booths - were designed to complement the gull-winged shell.

Although most people viewing the building believe that its inspiration undoubtedly came from a bird in flight, it has been said that the true inspiration came to Saarinen when he flipped over a hollowed-out grapefruit rind and pressed down the middle.

The terminal was celebrated by the press. Architectural Record wrote that "it surely meets any man's criteria for distinction and drama, for excitement and dynamics," and architectural historian John Jacobus wrote the terminal,"creates a sharp, penetrating, memorable image in the fashion of the great railway concourses and sheds of the previous century, something no other airport building before has achieved."

The location was shot empty, without other travelers, to evoke a dreamlike reality, allowing Gabriel to travel metaphorically from his exterior to his interior self. The smooth concrete floors allowed for graceful dolly shoots without the use of a track, furthering the free form of the dream.