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The Films of Charles & Ray Eames, Vol. 1: The Powers of 10

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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(Aug 15, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Charles and Ray Eames are among the finest designers of the 20th century. They are best known for their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing. The legacy of this husband and wife team includes more than 75 films that reflect the breadth and depth of their interests. Volume 1 of this DVD collection includes an adventure in magnitudes, "Powers of Ten" (1968, 9 min.). Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out, until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward--into the hand of the sleeping picnicker--with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell. This DVD also includes the original version of "Powers of Ten" entitled "A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing with the Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe" (8 min.), a remarkable film in its own right, plus "901: After 45 Years of Working" (1989, 29 min.), a record of the Eames Office at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, California and a document of its closing by filmmaker, Eames Demetrios; it uses the space as a prism through which to look at the Eames' life and work.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Morrison, Judith Bronowski, Eames Demetrios, Sam Passalacqua, Martha Godfrey
  • Directors: Eames Demetrios, Charles Eames, Ray Eames
  • Writers: Eames Demetrios, Charles Eames, Ray Eames
  • Producers: Eames Demetrios, Lucia Eames
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305943877
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,848 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Films of Charles & Ray Eames, Vol. 1: The Powers of 10" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
It is impossible to overstate how amazing this little movie is. I still remember seeing it for the first time, at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., at the age of nine, wearing my Boston Red Sox baseball cap. I literally had to be dragged away. I just wanted to see it again and again.
This video contains both the final version of the film, which I saw as a child, and the original, discarded film from which the final version was derived. In the final version, the "camera" begins by focusing on a couple lying out on a picnic blanket, in a small park in Chicago. Every ten seconds, the camera pulls back by a factor of ten, AKA a single "order of magnitude," for all you non-scientists out there. Gradually you come to see the entire park, then the city of Chicago, then the entire metropolitan region, the Great Lakes, North America, Earth... At the end of four minutes, the "camera" has pulled back by ten to the twenty-fourth meters, which is far enough back to be far outside of our Milky Way galaxy, and even outside our local supercluster, the Virgo supercluster. One almost wishes that Ray and Charles Eames had attempted this marvel of a film after the 1980s, when, due to advances in our astronomical understanding of the universe, they could have included an extra 30 or 40 seconds of pulling back the camera, to include large-scale structure, the "Great Attractor," etc. At any rate, after the four minutes of pulling the camera back, they zip it back in at the couple on the blanket at five times the original speed, in 48 seconds flat. (For more fun than humans should be allowed, you might want to use your remote control to fast-forward this part. What a ride!
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By A Customer on December 19, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
From the cover:
Charles and Ray Eames are among the finest American designers of this century. They are best known for their ground-breaking contributions to architecture, furniture design (the Eames Chair), industrial design and manufacturing, and the photographic arts.
The legacy of this husband and wife team includes more than 75 films that reflect the breadth and depth of their interests and the integrity of their vision. Volume 1 is a part of a video collection of these classic films.
"Powers of Ten" takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out, until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others.
Returning to earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward - into the hand of the sleeping picnicker - with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.
This cassette also includes the original version of "Powers of Ten," produced in 1968, entitled "A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing With the Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe," a remarkable film in its own right.
Introduction narrated by Gregory Peck.
21 minutes.
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Format: DVD
What a joy! I have been waiting for this DVD. Although I have not yet seen this DVD (I have the Laser version) I can anticipate it is going to be a major success. "Powers of Ten" is a rapid visual presentation about the relative size of everything in the universe, as it was known in 1997 when Charles Eames and his wife Ray prepared this film (and a companion book for Scientific America). It starts on a summer day in Chicago and every few seconds later, distances begin to increase "ten times", at a time (10, 100, 1000, 10000, etc - thus showing the magnification effect of adding another zero), from 10 to the power zero (one meter) to 10 to the power 25. Then, distances collapse and, in a back trip, are reduced also by tens. The entire range covers from 10 at the power 25 (more or less, one billion light years, where entire galaxies appear as dust particles) to ten a the power minus 16 (one tenth of the size of quarks!). This rapid trip from the human scale to the infinitely large and to the infinitely small is more exhilarating than a mesmerizing guided tour of the descending ramp of the new Rose Planetarium of the Museum of Natural History in New York. The second major feature of this volume is "901", which refers to the Eames address in Venice, California. The film shows their Victorian house and the materials that they accumulated in 45 years of their careers as organizers of major exhibitions around the world. The entire collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institute.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
It is impossible to overstate how amazing this little movie is. I still remember seeing it for the first time, at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., at the age of nine, wearing my Boston Red Sox baseball cap. I think I literally had to be dragged away, I just wanted to see it again and again.
This video contains both the final version of the film, which I saw as a child, and the original, discarded film from which the final version was derived. In the final version, the "camera" begins by focusing on a couple lying out on a picnic blanket, in a small park in Chicago. Every ten seconds, the camera pulls back by a factor of ten, AKA a single "order of magnitude," for all you non-scientists out there. Gradually you come to see the entire park, then the city of Chicago, then the entire metropolitan region, the Great Lakes, North America, Earth... At the end of four minutes, the "camera" has pulled back by ten to the twenty-fourth meters, which is far enough back to be far outside of our Milky Way galaxy, and even outside our local supercluster, the Virgo supercluster. One almost wishes that Ray and Charles Eames had attempted this marvel of a film after the 1980s, when, due to advances in our astronomical understanding of the universe, they could have included an extra 30 or 40 seconds of pulling back the camera, to include large-scale structure, the "Great Attractor," etc. Anyway, after the four minutes of pulling the camera back, they zip it back in at the couple on the blanket at five times the original speed, in 48 seconds flat. (For more fun than humans should be allowed, you might want to use your remote control to fast-forward this part. What a ride!!!
Read more ›
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