Tag Archives: film

Modern In The Movies | Beginners

the Lovell House by Richard Neutra79b3a4e64c23f3a8d26f929a76912519

In the quiet first scenes of director Mike Mills’s autobiographical 2011 film Beginners we see Ewan McGregor’s character (playing Mills’s alter ego) cleaning up and removing items from sparsely decorated rooms of a house both seemingly unoccupied and not his own. The house in question is Richard Neutra’s international modernist masterpiece, the Lovell Health House. We soon find out that, within the film, the house was owned by McGregor’s character’s late father (played perfectly by Christopher Plummer).6a00d8341c630a53ef0167626b6bae970b-600wi
Completed in 1929, this icon of L.A. architecture had previously featured in the excellent 1997 film noir, LA Confidential. However, while that film highlighted the house’s unique exterior, Beginners favors interior shots, the filmmakers utilizing the plethora of windows lining the house for natural lighting. Also essential to these interior shots is the myriad of mid-century furniture pieces owned by Plummer’s character (which were apparently supplied by various members of the film crew!).6a00d8341c630a53ef0168e76c01e9970c-600wi
 As for the film itself, it’s easily one of the best romantic dramas of the 2000s and is an unqualified success for Mills, especially considering Beginners is only his second film (his third is currently in production). The cast is uniformly excellent, but Melanie Laurent as McGregor’s character’s love interest might steal the show, proving that her stunning performance in 2009’s Inglorious Basterds was no fluke.movie-beginners-stills-1657194450
For more on the Lovell Health House go here, and check out Beginners on Netflix streaming.
Contributed by Buyer’s Specialist Matt Allen — an avid film buff and creator of Asheville Film Snobs Anonymous group.

Modern In The Movies

The Gift’s Mid-Century Post and Beam by David G. ClarkSR13115905_1

One of the first lines of dialogue in The Gift is spoken by a real estate broker. Showing a house to L.A. transplants (a perfectly cast Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall), the broker informs the couple it’s a “mid-century modern” home, a fact that will not be lost on fans of that particular aesthetic. The opening scenes do a fantastic job of showcasing these mid-century modern elements, from the open floor-plan, ample yet tasteful incorporation of concrete and wood, oversize windows throughout, and (my favorite) a koi pond running underneath the front walkway.TheGift5

The post and beam house, a 1962 stunner designed by David G. Clark and located in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, is featured early and often in the film, and for good reason. In addition to being great eye candy for lovers of mid-century modern design, the large windows and open spaces make the protagonists feel more vulnerable, adding greatly to the overall effect of the film.53256

And what a film it is! Easily one of the best directorial debuts in recent memory, The Gift is a refreshing and unique take on the psychological thriller genre. First-time director Joel Edgerton (who, impressively, also wrote the screenplay and co-stars) gets a lot of things right here, most notably the darkly humorous, tongue-in-cheek script, the astute casting of Bateman (arguably against type) and Hall as the film’s leads, and, of course, the decision to use a gorgeous mid-century modern home as one of the film’s main settings.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.02.59 AM

For more pictures of the David Clark designed mid-century, modern home used in the film, click here, and check out The Gift via Netflix or Amazon.

Matt Allen is a Buyer’s Specialist at Modern Asheville Real Estate, as well as, an avid film buff and tennis and piano player. If you are a local film buff join up with Matt at the movies through his facebook group Asheville Film Snobs Anonymous. Cheers!


Modern in the Movies

A Single Man‘s the Schaffer House by Matt Allenschaeffer-residence-lautner-park-mcdonald-remodelista-01

For his directorial debut, fashion designer Tom Ford used largely his own money in elegantly and convincingly bringing to life Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel, A Single Man. That the production was a labor of love to Ford is apparent throughout the film, from the strong performances Ford elicits from his actors (particularly Colin Firth, who was nominated for several awards for his lead turn), to the dream-like cinematography by Eduard Grau and era-evoking costume and set design by the same team that worked on the critically acclaimed TV series Mad Men.

Perhaps Ford’s savviest choice, however, was selecting famed architect John Lautner’s Schaffer House as Firth’s character’s home. The Schaffer House was Lautner’s first solo project post-Frank Lloyd Wright tutelage but many consider A-Single-Man-Kitchenthe artful construction his masterpiece. Ford utilizes the house early and often to great effect. The first several minutes of the film are spent following Firth’s character as he does his morning routine, and Ford uses the opportunity to tumblr_loaqo8RWrK1qc2reyshowcase the impeccable mid-century design of the house, from the enormous glass windows to the redwood walls and ceilings throughout.

See here for more pictures of and information about John Lautner and the Schaffer House and the nuances of selling the unique, architectural real estate that our team loves.  Also, check out A Single Man while it’s still streaming on Netflix.

Matt Allen, not a single man, is a Buyer’s Specialist at Modern Asheville Real Estate, as well as, an avid film buff and tennis and piano player. 


Modern in the Movies | Ex Machina

Contributed by MATT ALLEN Ex

Being an avid movie buff I find there is much to admire in Ex Machina, the directorial debut of author/screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later). From Oscar Isaac’s powerhouse performance as a shady, machismo Steve Jobs-type (in a perfect world he’d be a shoo-in for all major best supporting actor nominations come the end of the year) to little touches, like the fictional beer imbibed by Isaac’s character throughout the film, called “Keikaku” (which means “plan” or “scheme” in Japanese, a clever reference to some third-act plot developments), the film is chock-full of heady ideas and arresting imagery.Untitled-1

Perhaps the most important contributing factor to the success of the overall mood and look of the film is the setting. Taking place almost exclusively at Isaac’s character’s estate, the movie was filmed at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway. Opened in 2007, the hotel’s rooms, which were conceived by the inimitable architects at Norwegian firm Jensen & Skodvin, are breathtaking examples of modern design. The sustainable architecture of this Scandinavian hotel was designed so that the interior mirrors the experience of the landscape — blurring the lines between inside and outside. To dig deeper go here.Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 5.31.16 AM