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50 Years Off-Grid:
Architect Charles Bello

Dir. Kirsten Dirksen

Producers: Fair Companies

Duration: 48 minutes

Language: English

Architect Charles Bello, a student of Richard Neutra, is featured in this engaging film by Kirsten Dirksen, where Charles describes his journey and life over 50 years in the redwood forests of Northern California. A beautiful portrait of a remarkable renaissance man, architect, builder, sculptor, artist, and committed environmentalist.

Bello's foundation, The Redwood Forest Institute, is found here: 

"Charles Bello may not be a household name, but he has a cult following in certain circles. He came to my attention via a circuitous route that started with an e-mail from Raymond Neutra (yes, like Richard Neutra, the Modernist architect; Raymond is his son). Raymond had received my book, “Handcrafted Modern” (Rizzoli), and with his compliments he mentioned that one of his father’s former interns — Bello — might be of interest to me. This was a man who dropped out in the 1960s, bought 400 acres of redwoods in Northern California and, with the help of his wife, built a number of houses and structures by hand there, Raymond said. He attached one picture, of two people sitting in front of a wall of windows with a ridgeline of trees in the distance. I was sold."

Leslie Williamson (see her article here:

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