Film: Design & Architecture

Flying Down to Rio


This film is a 1933 RKO musical noted for the first screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. For some reason I remembered seeing a lot more cool sets while watching it on Turner Classic Movies, but when I rented the DVD from Netflix, the above photo was the only interesting still showing 1930’s interior design. This set does look staged, but some of the details are interesting. Built-in window seating was big in those days, and this one takes that theme to another level. Then there’s the circular rug with its fluffy edging details and the satin upholstered chaise. I think we all know how popular satin upholstery was in films those days — especially in feminine bedrooms.

Film: Design & Architecture

Delectable Details


From Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. While I’m trying to pull my brain bits together after several months of crazy stuff, I wanted to waste some of my time and your’s with this eye candy — a little escape from fixing things. That’s all I seem to be doing these days — fixin’. Fixin’, fixin’, fixin’, and more fixin’. I would like to say “solving problems”, but that’s a way too sophisticated phrase for my string of snags. And what about my goals? Ha! I’d be super happy if I could finish at least one project and have it stay finished. So don’t come around asking me for any favors, because I won’t be in the mood! Rant over. And now for the eye candy…

Film: Design & Architecture

A South Beach Hotel Circa 1958


A Hole in the Head (1959) is a comedy film directed by Frank Capra, featuring Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker, and Carolyn Jones. For me, the real star was the down-in-the-heels hotel located on South Beach’s Ocean Drive. Unfortunately, the interior scenes were sets, but the exteriors belonged to the very real Cardozo Hotel, which is now owned by Gloria Estefan and her husband. To continue on and see more captured film stills, click on the link below.

Film: Design & Architecture

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Boys’ Night Out (1962). Interior design trends in the late 1950s and early 1960s were a crazy mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. For some reason the contemporary taste makers of that time decided to mess up a good thing by adding foo foo elements to the otherwise beautiful mid-century modern trend. These prissy details included gilding, Chinese statuary, bad art, bright colors, swirly rococo lines, marbleized mirrors, and hairspray.

It’s only through captured stills of film sets that I can identify the good, the bad, and the ugly, and Boys’ Night Out is packed with all kinds of 1960 trendy clichés. Notice that there are no captions on the following photos. My intentions are for each of you to discover what you consider the good, the bad, and the ugly. All has been done in good fun. A blast from the past.

Film: Design & Architecture

Wife versus Secretary (1936)


Starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Jean Harlow. I have recently subscribed to Netflix just so I could get my hands on classic film dvds. With my extensive and ever increasing list of old films that have interior sets that I wish to capture, purchasing them would be a waste of money. Especially since my subscription allows me to view any of them at any time with on-demand streaming. Hopefully, Netflix won’t reach out and reprimand me for this hobby of mine. Click the link below for the captured interiors of this wonderful old black and white film.

Film: Design & Architecture

Mon Oncle (1958)


Mon Oncle is a 1958 film by French filmmaker Jacques Tati. The film centers on the awkward and lovable character, Monsieur Hulot, and his struggle with postwar France’s infatuation with modern architecture, mechanical efficiency, and American-style consumerism. Young Gérard, who lives with his materialistic parents in an ultra-modern house and garden (Villa Arpel) in a new suburb of Paris, relies on his adored uncle, M. Hulot, to provide random escapes from his sterile and monotonous life at home.

Film: Design & Architecture

I Am Love (style)


The clothes and accessories. Produced by Silvia Venturini Fendi of the famous Fendi family, the film could be considered fashion porn. The leading star, Tilda Swinton, was entirely dressed by Jil Sander’s Raf Simons. The house of Fendi dressed the men and also provided extraordinary furs for the magnificent Marisa Berenson, who plays the perfectly put-together mother-in-law with a preference for vintage ’70s furs. In fact, all of the Recchi women favor a classic look. The impression is that clothes in this family are passed down, not shopped for. Tilda, in an interview, described the choices as an expressive wardrobe. “There were moments when, for her to wear a red dress at the point which she falls in love, there’s a control one can expect on the palette of the film if one works in that way.”

Film: Design & Architecture

I Am Love (architecture & interiors)


After renting the newly released dvd, I Am Love, and watching the film twice, I slipped it into my computer and captured a gazillion frames which I will be sharing with you over the next two days. Today’s post will be focusing on Villa Necchi Campiglio’s architecture and interiors. By using stills from the film and comparing them to photos of the house today, I hope to give you a complete picture. Friday’s post will be about the characters’ lifestyles, which includes their clothing, accessories, and other lifescapes.

Film: Design & Architecture

Sugar, Almond Paste, Fruit and Flowers


Can blown sugar be a lost art? There are certain historical films that no matter how many times I view them, I will always notice something about the past that I hadn’t been aware of before. This happened to me while viewing Vatel. In two scenes, Gérard Depardieu, as François Vatel, creates two sugar arrangements as gifts for Uma Thurman, who plays the love interest of several men (Louis XIV being one of them). These works of art were so mesmerizing that I had to find out more about this process. Maybe I don’t read enough lifestyle magazines to know if this art form is still in existence today. All I had to go on in my search was Tim Roth’s line describing the process as “spun” sugar. But the images that Google returned were the crazy strings of caramelized sugar that’s often seen on fancy deserts at fancy restaurants. After multiple google searches and relying on the resulting images, I found the right term, “blown sugar”. Unfortunately, there’s zero information on its history, but it’s definitely not a lost art and is still taught in culinary schools. To illustrate and share this technique with you, I have captured some stills from the film.

Film: Design & Architecture

The Divorce of Lady X


The Divorce of Lady X is a 1938 romantic comedy starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. This delightful slice of escapism, produced by Alexander Korda, was shot in three strip Technicolor, showing off both the expensive sets and Olivier’s green-shirt-and-brown-suit combo to best effect.

Most of the stills that I captured were from the first part of the film in Laurence’s hotel room. Between the colors, patterns, and textures, there was too much to take in watching it as a film. Fortunately for me, there are “ways” to get around this. And hopefully, I won’t get into any trouble for posting these stills. But I had to capture all of this eye candy and share it with you.