The Eames Era" began in the optimistic flush of American victory during World War II, and the global impact of the Eames aesthetic continues to grow unabated today. Now, First Run Features is pleased to present Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's definitive and unprecedented cinematic foray into the private world of the Renaissance-style studio that Charles and Ray Eames conceived in a cavernous warehouse on a gritty street in Venice Beach, California where design history was born. Insightfully narrated by James Franco, it 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. EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER draws extensively from a virgin cache of archival material, visually stunning films, love letters, photographs and artifacts produced in mindboggling volume by Charles and Ray with their talented staff during the hyper-creative forty-year epoch of the Eames Office. Interviews with family members, including Charles' insightful grandson Eames Demetrios, 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. Charles and Ray's career symbiotically tracks major developments in postwar America. Just as California was becoming a viable counterweight to the cultural power of New York, the Eameses moved to Los Angeles. Their light and whimsical designs, particularly the landmark house they built in the Pacific Palisades, became emblematic of a new West Coast lifestyle whose influence reached Europe, Asia, and beyond. And, as American society began shifting away from manufacturing and towards an economy based on ideas and communications, the Eames Office was always a step ahead. EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER incorporates clips from their films and exhibitions for clients like IBM, Westinghouse, Polaroid and the U.S. government, which pushed the envelope for communicating complex ideas to mass audiences. The work of Charles and Ray Eames remains an ideal of design at its most virtuous - an alchemical combination of beauty and purpose. 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, large-scale exhibitions, and their quirky, beautiful films. The film shines a light on the genuine legacy of Eames design, which elevates the marriage of aesthetic refinement and functionality to a higher plane.
The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America's most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mind-bending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life - from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age - has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film since their death dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.