Sunday, February 12, 2012

Architecture of..."The Best of Everything" [1959]

In the opening credits to THE archetypal working-girl-in-the-big-city movie, as the empty midtown streets of a Manhattan morning fill with office workers, jaunty diagonal views accentuate the animated hubub of 1959. A polarized color palette renders every shot with the iconic quality of a Life Magazine layout, and a central cast of character-types covers everyone's mis-remembered fantasy of the glamorous Big City: grey-flanneled business men & white gloved secretaries; ladies-who-lunch & shoppers who shop; taxis, buses & subways thrust the teeming throngs of workers to their appointed destinations.  And while Johnny Mathis croons about the promise of romance, the pictures tell a different story: it's in the glass and steel and concrete City that you'll find your dreams and realize your aspirations for.... The Best of Everything. 

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