Not only did I not realize that Eames was actually two people-a vivacious husband and wife design team- I also didn’t realize it was spelled E-A-M-E-S. I always figured Eames was some weird French expatriate who’s name was spelled, like, Hemerez or something. I thought this because I am not the type of person for whom the phrase “very important chair“ rolls off the tongue freely, without irony. Also because I have no understanding of how the French language works. I have been vaguely familiar with Eames for a while because I am the only person in my life who feels this way. Literally. Even my seventeen-year-old brother gets giddy at the mention of an estate sale and has spent his high school career trying to amass a rug collection. It’s not that I don’t care, or that I dream of being surrounded in trash. I don’t want to live in a boring white walled apartment with no art sitting in chairs from Wal-mart. It’s just that when I move past the phase of casually admiring a piece decorative art to analyzing it, I get the urge to jump off a low hipped roof. The fact is that these are luxury items, designed for and by a certain class of people, like it or not, and I just can’t get myself to worship furniture. Even if it’s extraordinary. Even if I want it. And absolutely no one agrees with me, and that’s okay.
But anyway, Charles and Ray Eames were basically the coolest people who ever lived. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to have relationship these two had at the beginning of their marriage. They started working together and falling in love at the same time, equal partners in love and work.
But of course the world kind of treated Ray like shit, because the bad ‘50’s people couldn’t comprehend a creative partnership like theirs. There is a clip in this movie that will make your skin crawl, in which Charles and Ray are being interviewed about their business, and she has to stand BEHIND her husband as the interviewer tries to grapple with the idea of a man and a woman sharing work. You can see the wheels turning in the (female) interviewers head before she comes to the conclusion that Ray is Charles’ helper, she doesn’t do any designing but she’s still very important. Here is one of the most important designers of the 20th century being tarted up and presented as one of Santa’s elves. It’s so fucking gross.
I don’t know if I’m going to flag this one as a favorite, that title is reserved for the true masterpieces: Scream 2, Scream 3, etc., but I do recommend it. It’s good, it’s pretty to look at, and it’s inspiring. It’s the Oprah.com of documentaries. Watch it!