Architecture for the Screen: A Critical Study of Set Design in Hollywood's Golden Age

Architecture for the Screen: A Critical Study of Set Design in Hollywood's Golden Age

by Juan Antonio Ramirez, Juan Antonio Rammrez, John F. Moffitt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0786417811

ISBN-13: 9780786417810

Pub. Date: 05/24/2004

Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

It is unlikely that you have ever found yourself trapped inside a burning skyscraper or entombed within an Egyptian pyramid. Nonetheless, you probably have some idea of these and many other places because of their portrayal on screen. The movies have overcome the constraints of time and place by bringing us images of diverse and otherwise unfamiliar settings.

Overview

It is unlikely that you have ever found yourself trapped inside a burning skyscraper or entombed within an Egyptian pyramid. Nonetheless, you probably have some idea of these and many other places because of their portrayal on screen. The movies have overcome the constraints of time and place by bringing us images of diverse and otherwise unfamiliar settings.

This work covers the many applications of art and architecture appearing in the movies produced in Hollywood from the very beginning until the fifties. The first chapters deal with the process of design, construction, physical characteristics and immediate functions of a wide variety of architectural sets. The remaining chapters examine the great number of styles shown in those movies and take the reader up to the final triumph of modernist architecture in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786417810
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
05/24/2004
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Architecture in the Movies and Elsewhere in History1
Preface to the English Edition: Ten Lessons About Architecture in the Movies5
Preface to the First Edition (1986)11
1.General Introduction
Film Architecture and the Crsis of Modernism13
From Shooting on Location to Filming in the Studios16
The Architecture of Movie Theaters and Architecture in the Movies21
Film Architecture vs. Ordinary Architecture23
2.Set Design
The First Advances in Art Direction26
Architect vs. Director: Joseph Urban27
The "Illustrators": Anton Grot and William Cameron Menzies32
Stage Designers and Painters: Wilfred Buckland and Ben Carre36
Supervising Architects: Hans Dreier, Van Nest Polglase, and Cedric Gibbons38
Other Art Directors42
The Design Process43
Background Research45
Additional Aspects of Design49
The Imaginary Client and the Viewing Customer: Scale Models49
Working Conditions and the Studio Styles51
3.Set Construction
Techniques, Materials, and Architectural Machinery54
Tricks of the Trade59
The Impact of Sound67
4.From Furniture to Artificial Landscapes
Set Dressing and the Accessories Departments69
Wardrobes vs. Sets72
The Construction of Landscapes72
Artificial Oceans and Creative Ship-Building76
Heavenly Effects79
5.Architecture and Desire: The Character of Film Constructions
Six Distinctive Qualities81
Color and Lighting90
A Driving Functionalism93
6.The Death and Resurrection of Sets
Methods of Destruction: Fire, Burial, Abandonment97
The Ruins of Hollywood101
Architectural Metempsychosis: The Permanent Sets102
Some Statistics109
7.Architectural Styles from Antiquity
Mesopotamia and Palestine114
Egypt122
Greco-Roman Architecture127
8.From Medieval to Renaissance Architectural Styles
Castles and Palaces132
The Gothic of Terror135
Church, Cloister, Street...141
Examples from the Renaissance143
9.The Provinces of Exoticism
From Legendary Arabia to Contemporary Legend: Moorish Spain146
An Archetypal Spain151
India153
Pan-Slavic Architecture and/or the Jungle156
The Far East157
Pre-Columbian America160
10.From Colonial Baroque to Contemporary Eclecticism
The "Spanish Style" and the Bourgeois Baroque162
Did a Cinematic Neo-Classicism Exist?170
"American" Architecture, Frontier to Urban171
Other (Old World) Countries176
11.Modern Architecture Conquers Hollywood
The First Moderns: Urban, Rambova, et al.179
Art Deco and Zigzag Geometrization186
The Ocean Liner and "Streamline Moderne"190
The International Style194
Rationalist-Surrealist Architecture in Musicals201
12.Epilogue
Some Omnipresent Elements: Staircases, Bathrooms, Bedrooms206
Partial Conclusions213
Notes217
Bibliography227
Index241

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