Friday, May 15, 2009

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Sometimes I watch a random movie just to have something playing in the background to distract me while I'm plopped down in front of the computer screen. This process is facilitated by the fact that all of our DVDs are housed within a 4TB array that's tucked into my George Nelson style slat closet. Touch of a button movies- it's the only way to fly.

Yesterday's pick was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Why that one? 'Cause in a very short list of my favorite films of the 80's, there's Ferris, Back to the Future, and Die Hard. And maybe Airplane.

But what does Ferris Bueller have to do with MidCentury Modern Movies? Well nothing really, but I came across a fabulous scene with two examples of vertical slats. Since I'm currently suffering from a Nelson inspired slatted objects obsession right now (see The George Nelson Bench Project), these two snapshots made me laugh.

First, we have the teacher standing next to a vertical slat podium. This is the scene where he poses an unbearably drawn-out question to the class:
In... what... way... does the author's... use of the... prison... symbolize... the protagonist's struggle, and how does this relate to our discussion of the uses of irony?
Yeah, that'd put me to sleep. Just like Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara!) in the second pic. Behind her is a vertical slat wall. A prospective client of mine discussed the possibility of vertically slatting an entire wall in his place of business. Perhaps this is what it'll look like. Of course, the purpose of the slats in a lecture hall setting is for sound control and diffusion, but to me it just looks cool.

Does anyone know what book the teacher is referring to? I'd like to read it and perhaps figure out how the prison symbolizes the protagonist's struggle.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Star Is Born

The 1954 adaptation of the 1937 film A Star Is Born is exactly the kind of film that my wife and I were looking for in an attempt to find photographic or celluloid evidence of period furniture pieces residing in their natural habitats. After all, when one uses the phrase MidCentury, you can't get any closer to the middle of the century than 1954.

One particular scene that just is overflowing with the type of style and design sensibility that will one day grace our midcentury-modern-house-in-the-making, is Judy Garland's little (or maybe not so little 'cause it's a loooong scene) song and dance number in her living room.

She's got four, count 'em four white Barcelona Chairs. One at the front door, one next to a wall opposite the entryway, and two more facing each other in the sitting area next to the windows.

What strikes me is the starkness and the simplicity. Nothing garish, nothing ornate, nothing cumbersome and nothing big. In the second still frame above where she's in the corner leaning on the chair, there's nothing in that part of the room except for the drapes! Fabulous.

That studio sofa (if that's what you call it) would be a perfect addition to our library. I'm contemplating building something in that vein using a twin mattress as a starting point and going from there. Follow to check on its progress. Assuming I do get started on it of course.

And, uh, about the Chinese thing she did with the lamp shade over her head... It was 1954 after all.