Friday, July 1, 2011

Giant

I finally watched George Steven's 1956 epic Giant and was captivated by the cinematography, elaborate sets, and of course...

James Dean.
Particularly this scene for obvious reasons.

Elizabeth Taylor's conservative Eastern seaboard home featured fabulous grisaille wall coverings in the entrance hall... 
which contrasted perfectly with her flowing pink night gown in this scene... 

I loved this first image of Rock Hudson's Texas home Reata... it's dramatic setting reminded me of Elmgreen and Dragset's 2005 Prada Marfa sculpture... 

Coincidentally this sculpture was built about 35 miles from Marfa, Texas, making it very close to the actual outdoor sets of Giant...
 
The cinematography was exceptional... 
I especially loved these next two stills...



On to the interiors of Reata...

The interior of Reata was initially decorated in a high Victorian style to coordinate with the French 2nd Empire architecture of the exterior. The general layout and details of the interior are generally unbelievable and the stained glass window at the top of the stairs is questionable at best.

... however I'm loving this black tufted leather sofa particularly with Elizabeth Taylor in her riding habit... 
Taylor's style and refinement insures the viewer that this dated design will be heavily modified by the end of the film...

By the end of the film the red wallpaper and brown painted woodwork has been given a monochromatic treatment, and that horrible window has been covered with curtains and a fantastic scalloped cornice. I'm a fan of Victorian design, but this Hollywood Regency redecoration is obviously much more successful.
Particularly loving the slipper chair at the base of the stairs, the mirrored obelisks on the piano, and the gold leafed screen in the foreground.

And perhaps my favorite detail, which is only seen once or twice, is this geometrically painted black and white floor in the entrance hall.

The ruins of Reata

2 comments:

  1. Goodness I loved that film! Especially for James Dean and the monochromatic interiors...funny how even at a young age both gave me flutters!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never took much notice of James Dean until GIANT! Wow, he was just a classic!

    ReplyDelete