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Eames: The Architect and the Painter2011

  • 4.5
Design history was born in a cavernous warehouse on a gritty street in Venice Beach, California, where Charles and Ray Eames set up their Renaissance-style studio in the optimistic flush of American victory during World War II. Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's definitive cinematic foray into the world of the Eames is the first film to be made about Charles and Ray since their deaths, and the only one that peers deeply inside the link between their artistic collaboration and sometimes tortured love for one another. Insightfully narrated by James Franco, the film brings to light a virgin cache of archival material, visually stunning films, love letters, photographs and artifacts produced in mind-boggling volume by Charles and Ray with their talented staff during the hypercreative forty-year epoch of the Eames Office. Interviews with family members and design historians guide the viewer on an intimate tour of the Eames era, while junior designers who were swept into the 24-7 world of "The Eamery," as they called it, flesh out a fascinatingly complex blueprint of this husband-and-wife powerhouse. The work of Charles and Ray Eames remains an ideal of design at its most virtuous, an alchemical combination of beauty and purpose. Their light and whimsical designs became emblematic of a new West Coast lifestyle whose influence reached Europe, Asia, and beyond. Though the Eameses are best known for their ubiquitous furniture and the signature innovation of the classic Eames chair, this essential documentary shows Charles and Ray applying the same process of inquiry to architecture, exhibitions and their quirky, beautiful films.

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Member Reviews (4)

top reviewer

really wonderful_i've known & had admiration for their work _never knew the story behind them_really super & brilliant

An excellent film about visual intelligence and two of it's finest practitioners. It's also an interesting commentary on the Mad Men era, good and bad. Good because this was a very creative period where being good in the field made you a star. Bad because women, Ray Eames in this case, were patronized and ignored. Anyone interested in creativity will enjoy this film.

I thought it was excellent and very informative. Glad that we got a chance to see it. Very worthwhile. It gives a good perspective of the Eames's story and their evolution. The connection to major industrial organizations was great. G. J. Wasserburg

Visually wonderful documentary on Eames. I didn't realize the wide areas of the things they touched. For instance the chair designs that was by Eames to the "Powers of 10" movie I saw as a kid.