Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Modern Design in The Birds [1963]

I know that mid-century design has attracted a promiscuous degree of attention these last 20 years, but I still get a kick when seeing it used in films to express variously, either hip, progressive values or unaffected good taste. Sometimes, it's present in a detail that we now may take for granted but which was a novelty at the time of shooting. For your enjoyment, here are some observations of the work of Production Designer Robert Boyle. 

 The "baguette" purse (Edith Head, costumes)

 The hairpin legged birdcage

 Powder-coated steel, cantilever-topped, truss-legged tables

The Henry Dreyfuss-designed Model 500 Western Electric phone, introduced in 1949, among other things, decorator colors. Here in Avocado.

The Dreyfuss 500, in grey.

 The Aston Martin DB2-4, Drop-Head coupe, in silver-blue

The modest little home of school teacher, San Francisco expatriate, former lover and philosophical realist Annie Hayworth, has a number of Danish modern-ish pieces that serve to oppose her down-to-earthness to Melanie Daniels' blithe sophistication.

Drop leaf table, bold graphic drapes and simple ceramic vase

Cubist art

Cantilever paper holder

Abstract expressionist art

Danish modern crystal

 The Dreyfuss 500 in black
Surely there's more, and there are many more movies that can be included. But Hitchcock was especially careful and his production designers savvy in their work. 

1 comment:

JLTR said...

I'll take the Aston Martin!!