Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane (1990)

Having not covered a film on here for a while (and needing an excuse to avoid more pressing matters), I've once again wasted hours painfully trawling through another movie no-one's heard of in a noble quest to immortalise it's long lost interior design. Unsurprisingly it's another gem from the nebulus world of the late 80s/early 90s.

Ford Fairlane was the vanity project of shock-jock comedian Andrew Dice Clay, a guy who wasn't very funny and is probably best remembered as the bouncer in Pretty In Pink. Thankfully this post isn't about him, it's not really about the film either - although it has it's moments including a soundtrack by Yello - it's about the style, ok?

The first location of interest is the amusingly titled nightclub 'Greed'. If I was still running club nights, they'd look like this (now that I think of it, they kind of did anyway).

The Post-Modern meets Industrial (meets vintage Stringfellows) interior can just about be made out through the glossy haze director Renny Harlin imposed on pretty much the whole film (not a bad thing IMO). Stuff happens involving twin groupies and the wacky yuppie guy from Commando and Twin Peaks but yeah, if you really want to know the story go watch the movie.

The real reason for me detailing this film is simply Fairlane's house. I've loved it my whole life (well, since I saw this film as a teen), it's this incredible 1950s Mid-Century Modern haven; all weird angles and curves. I want to retire to a place like this. In LA. Tomorrow.

Glass bricks and Atomic-era geometric doors what's not to love?

Completely re-writing the story, the neon phone rings...

...and combined with a full volume MTV news report about a heavy metal band (with a killer logo)...

...the eponymous 'Rock n Roll detective' is awoken in his Memphis Design-style shirt and polka um, square sheets.

Priscilla Presley is at the door rockin' a Gothy 50s vamp look.

The New-Wave pattern on his dressing gown is really cool but I couldn't get a clear shot of it. Ditto the Mid-Century abstract mirror above Presley's shoulder.

Again the dry ice machine was in full flow so the interior was tricky to make out. However I love the pink Atomic desk lamp and ceramic rocket here.

also detactable is this Amoeba coffee table with hairpin legs.

On the veranda (left) are two Butterfly sling chairs, originally designed by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy in 1938. Admittedly not easy to make out here, there are clearer shots of them elsewhere in the film, but I needed an excuse to show the back of the house.

you know the way that people watch North By Northwest and go 'oh I really want to go check out James Mason's Space Age house at the top of Mount Rushmore' and then they Google it and are heartbroken to discover that it never existed and it was only ever a drawing?  

...well yeah before you start booking flights to LA, this house doesn't exist either, or rather it did  until they blew it to pieces in the film. I'm sure it's a Starbucks or something now. Gutted.

The UFO-style roof of the iconic Capitol Records building, setting of the movie's last scene...

...inside of which is an evil Record Exec's office boasting some Post-Modern Art Deco-style business.

zany sculptures, neon (and blood) abound.

A pair of Cassina chairs from this earlier post.

Cassina chairs, Deco lamps and cowprint. Boom!

Bonus feature: the cover of a spin-off comic.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Postcards From the Edge of Reality

Who buys postcards of buildings anymore? Actually, do they even make postcards of buildings anymore?! Well in the last century they appeared to make one of almost anything made with bricks and mortar. Perhaps it was because Mid-Century building design was simply more iconic and/or novel than today. Whatever the reason I find that these long lost postcards capture a haunting, often futuristic mood that even staring at the building in reality (if it were to still exist) wouldn't quite provide. This selection of scans convey how the photography and image capturing techniques of the era conspired with the design it was documenting to create a beautiful distortion of reality.

Federal Building, Los Angeles, circa 1942. The modernist late Deco lines of the building (designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood and and Louis A. Simon) take on a more sinister sense of style and mystery thanks to the quality of the vintage B&W film.

Ok this mock film promo by artist David H. Lambard is a more contemporary image, but is still evocative nonetheless.

A promotional card for the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport, circa 1961. 
The B&W illustration helps to accentuate the Space Age spirit of the design.   

Modernist tower at the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair, Chicago.

Federal Building at the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair, Chicago.

Moderne tower at the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair, Chicago.

Theme Centre (Trylon and Perisphere) at the the New York World Fair, 1939.

Citizen's State Bank, Oklahoma, built in 1958, this Atomic-era landmark on Route 66 has fought off all kinds of threats of demolition. I felt the colouring of the original postcard detracted from the design so I bled it out to emphasise the killer Gold Dome. 

Executive Inn, Standiford Motel, Louisville, Kentucky. Again the original colouring of this motel lobby postcard was a sickly hue of orange. I bled out the colour and re-coloured the seat covers & water feature to fit the Computer Black aesthetic. I really love the diamond motifs and the glass brick walls (a real obsession of mine).

Fountain Of Planets, New York World Fair 1964.

Idlewild (JFK) Airport Arrivals Building, early 1960s.

Some postcards completely dispensed with any notion of reality as these cards from the 1939 New York Fair reveal.

Monday, 13 February 2012

AWOL, I've been exiled in paternity, for what seems like an eternity, but I'm back in business! First up, here's a selection of pieces I've spotted over the last few of months....

Modernist earrings, circa 1950s

untitled, mixed media by Larry Rosenfeld, early 1980s.

Post Modern Cubist-style portrait, USA, circa 1980s 

Untitled Post Modern artwork, mixed media, USA, circa 1988.

Mid-Century wall clock.

Mid-Century 'Eye' clock, circa 1950s.

Diamond-shaped Mid-Century wall clock.

 Mid-Century Polish Coffee Set.

Modernist wall sconce, circa 1950s. 

Modernist vase, Italy, circa 1950s.

Le Corbusier-style, Post Modern sofa & armchair, circa 1980s.

 E Gomme for G-Plan Tola (African Mahogony) dining room chairs, circa 1950s.

Mario Botta 'Quinta; Chairs for Alias Italy, circa 1985.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh 'Willow' Chair for Cassina, circa 1980s.

Geometric vase.

Cruet set by Hornsea, late 1950s

Post Modern Vase, Italy, circa mid 1980s, 

Charcoal Modernist sideboard.

 Black & Gold rotating TV stand, late 1950s.

Vinyl Record Cabinet with ebonised Dansette legs, teak & brass, 1950s

Mid-Century drawers by Stag.

Cabinet with ebonised 'Rocket' legs by Glendale of London, early 1960s.

Angular Coat Hook, France, circa 1950s.

Angular Coat Hook, France, circa 1950s.