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The Natural History of the Water Closet (1974)

Samuel Hudson

Sound | 1974

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  •  The origins of the American bathroom at the Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York 
  •  How does a modern water closet operate? A demonstration. 
  •  What happens after you flush? 
  •  The Central Waste Water Treatment Plants of Dallas, Texas 
  •  Kohler Company General Office building in Kohler, Wisconsin  
  •  The making of water closets 
  •  The Chicago Seven, a group of well renowned architects, including Laurence Booth, Tom Beeby, and Stanley Tigerman  
  •  Alexander Kira, professor of architecture at Cornell University and author of Bathroom Criteria for Design, 1966 
  •  Closing credits and animation 
  •  Ruth Kohler of John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin 
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The Natural History of the Water Closet is a self-proclaimed documentary cantata, a film in which the soundtrack carries as much weight as the subject. Composer Paul Alan Levi creates a vibrant, operatic score to highlight the distinctive topic of interest. Produced and directed by Samuel Hudson for PBS, the short documentary offers a history and explanation of the modern water closet. The film includes appealing animation, demonstrations, and interviews with distinguished architects. Hudson packages everything you ever wanted to learn about the water closet into an entertaining half hour of music, dancing toilets, and expert insight.