Sunday, April 22, 2012

Architecture of "Lost Horizon" [1937]

Directed by Frank Capra
Cinematography by Joseph Walke
Art Direction by Stephen Gooson
Set Decoration by Babs Johnstone

While Capra's Shangri-La is a promiscuous mishmash of Corbusian International Style modernism, Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie-style, Hollywood Chinoiserie & watered-down, arabian-flavored Empire styles - it somehow all works together to serve the plot's needs for other-worldliness. Whether it espoused the values of classlessness and anti-materialism that motivate that plot is another question. But for sheer, over-the-top fantasy-luxury, it's hard not to enjoy the polished floors, sweeping expanses, baroque patterns, streamlined stairways and countless other details of the gargantuan sets of Lost Horizon.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for selecting, arranging, and posting these stills from Lost Horizon. To find them all in one place is its own reward. The stills leading to Conway's meeting with Father Perrault build the same expectation -- an expectation that is more than rewarded -- as do Hilton's book and Capra's film. You've provide a fine aide-memoire that captures the essence of a fine novel and a faithful film.