Thursday, May 24, 2018

House: After Five Years of Living (1955)

Sometimes, when you find something new, you try to find more of the same.  If you come across a song you like, you might look for other tracks by the same artist or maybe buy the album.  There is a certain expectation that the other tracks will sound similar.  When I first saw Powers of Ten, I didn’t realize that Charles and Ray Eames had made so many short films.  Netflix and YouTube have allowed me to find many other short films by the husband-and-wife team.  Not all of them where what I expected

I had imagined that this was more of a documentary.  I had read that the Eameses had  designed, built and lived in a house.  This movie shows what that house looks like after about five years.  You get the usual assortment of items, like tables and chairs.  There’s even a spiral staircase.   Instead of interviews, it’s a series of still images, each shown for a moment before moving on to the next one.  The entire sequence runs for 11 minutes and is set to music by Elmer Bernstein.

The house itself is currently open to visitors.  Students can get in free.  Everyone else is charged a $10 admission.  Apparently, you have to make a reservation.  (Details can be found on the Web site.)  It might be interesting to visit if I’m ever I the area.  However, the Web site states that you can’t park on site due to the location.  Also, due to the age of the house, restrooms aren’t available for public use.

If you want to watch this production, it is available on DVD as part of a collection.  The Eames Web site doesn’t seem to have this video available, nor does it appear to be available on their YouTube channel.  However, there does appear to be a house walkthrough.   (The walkthrough seems to be more what I had in mind for this short.)  I did see the video on YouTube, but the account isn’t the official Eames account.  I’m not sure what their association is.

I don’t know that I would buy any of the sets.  The replay value is going to be limited for me.  My interest is in seeing what else Charles and Ray Eames made.  I’m probably going to watch many of the films just once.  I could see this being of interest to architects or art students.  Even then, I don’t know how often it would be viewed.

The DVD I was able to rent from Netflix was The Films of Charles & Ray Eames, which goes on Amazon for $250.  Unfortunately, I could get just Vol. 2 before Netflix removed it from their selection.  I might have to check local libraries to find other copies.

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