Sunday, March 28, 2010

The American Look

Many thanks to our friends at Mid-Century Modernist for bringing this short film to attention. It's a mesmerizing paean to modern design. Without any voice over or apparent plot, it feels like idealized, voyeuristic time-travel, tinged with melancholy because we are looking to the past and the present isn't as optimistic.

After you've seen the video, you may want to view the full segment (which is about 30 minutes) here:

I love seeing my dining chairs around 5'25". The voice over changes the entire tone. While the designs have stood the test of time, the words seem dated ("Improved styling constantly adds to the ease and grace and gaiety of American living..."), though beautiful as such, and seem to elide the fact that while some of the designs featured are American some are not. Nonetheless, I'm hypnotized by this melange of the nostalgia for forward-looking optimism (if that makes any sense).


* A confession. I first intended to write about this way back in November 2008. But better late than never. I would never foist the "I've been busy" excuse on you... No, for you gentle reader, only the truth. I'm down with a case of the late-March, topsy-turvy weather blahs... And then I helped two friends move. And then I decided to clean out my closet. And then I began to wonder, might I really be a shopaholic? I'm not ready to confess that yet, but more some other time...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Autumn Sonata, Ingmar Bergman

I worried that you wouldn't like my appearance.
I was ugly.
Skinny and angular, with big, round eyes and fat lips.
No eyebrows.
My arms were too thin and my feet too big.
I thought I looked disgusting.
Once you said, "You should have been a boy."
Then you laughed, so I wouldn't be upset. But I was, of course.

from Autumn Sonata, Ingmar Bergman

P.S. Bergman has a way of finding the universal - pain - in any relationship, but also the universal beauty.

P.P.S. I believe this was the only time Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman worked together, and certainly the only time that Ingrid worked with Ingmar Bermgan.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



P.S. It is dificult to add much to this... The almost-final frame of L'avventura... And the sequence leading up to it... breathtaking.
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