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Eames: The Architect and the Painter
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The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America's most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mindbending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life - from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age - has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film since their death dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.
Between the wide array of interviewees and surplus of colorful archival materials, the deftly assembled pic has nary a dull moment. --Dennis Harvey, Variety
Top Customer Reviews
If you are a student of Charles Eames or have a preexisting knowledge base about the pair and their work, "Eames" may make for a fascinating supplement to their story. However, if you are just being introduced to them, the film might not be the definitive biography you were anticipating. The film begins with the birth of the Eames chair (no real background or context to their early life is provided), discusses Ray's art briefly, touches on their famed residence in Pacific Palisades, and then focuses a lot on the corporate work they did through films and exhibitions. In addition, the film tries to hit the highlights of their lives together and to give you a glimpse into their company in Venice Beach, California.Read more ›
The Eames were involved in not only designing furniture but Ray was a painter and Charles was involved in making experimental films. Their home in Venice, California is an architectural masterpiece and - apparently a tourist attraction as well.
What we learn from the many interviews - which complement the archival footage of the Eames duo at work as well as in filmed interviews - is that their created a working environment in their studio that encouraged teamwork, but did not give credit to members of the team. All that recognition went to Charles. Many former Eames studio staff are interviewed (quite of a few are, frankly, not very engaging personalities) as are art critics and historians. The one name you may recognize is film Director Paul Schrader (best known for "Taxi Driver") whose most relevant comment is among the six deleted scenes (totaling 13 minutes) on the home DVD version of the film. He describes how Charles Eames guided him in one important scene in "taxi Driver".
While I did enjoy the film and learned more than I knew before, I was left wanting to know more (and hoping for a more "engaging" production). If you are an architecture or design lover and know the Eames work, you'll really get more from this production.
Although at some point it has some very personal interviews and point of views, the final result is a very deep and complete overview of their work/life and the role they had in modern design.
A must see movie for designers, architects and others interested in the creative process.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A masterpiece about two people who influenced design of the 20 Century and still influences designers todayPublished 3 months ago by Sondra
This is an excellent documentary about Charles and Ray Eames, their lives and their designs. Interesting to see the beginnings of their design group and all of the wonderful things... Read morePublished on June 17, 2014 by fotogirl
I enjoyed it. I never realized Powers of Ten was released in 1977. I could swear I'd watched it in grade school in the early 60's...Published on May 22, 2014 by Susan S.
Very interesting story, takes the viewers into the minds of furniture designers who really changed how people perceive modern design...Published on November 21, 2013 by Scott Benowitz
I lived most of my life with art, creative thinking, innovation so other minds on a much more versical level fascinate me, feed me.Published on November 4, 2013 by Reneta E. Nunn
Widely advertised as the first film since their death this film about the Eames's looked promising. Although it is in many ways an interesting documentary, shedding light on the... Read morePublished on July 26, 2013 by Sturla