EAMES. Paul Schrader: THE FILMS OF CHARLES EAMES. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970 Publishers offprint.

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THE FILMS OF CHARLES EAMES

Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader: THE FILMS OF CHARLES EAMES. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970. Publishers offprint. Slim octavo. Thick stapled and printed wrappers. 20 pp. 15 black and white photographs. Wrappers lightly rubbed, but a very good copy. Uncommon.

6.75 x 8.25 publishers offprint reprinting “The Films Of Charles Eames” by Paul Schrader, originally published in Film Quarterly in 1970. Features an essay, interview and filmography. Exceptional reference item for an Eames scholar or a fan of Paul Schrader’s criticism.

”They’re not experimental films, they’re not really films. They’re just attempts to get across an idea.”  

Between 1950 and 1982, Charles and Ray Eames made over 125 short films ranging from 1-30 minutes in length. The two are ranked among the finest American designers of the 20th Century, renowned for their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and the photographic arts. Their filmography includes US Exhibit Moscow Worlds Fair, House Of Science, National Aquarium, Powers of Ten, House: After 5 Years of Living, Design Q&A, Tops, Eames Lounge Chair, Day of the Dead, Toccata for Toy Trains, The World of Franklin and Jefferson and many others.

Paul Joseph Schrader (born July 22, 1946) is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader has also directed 18 feature films, including his directing debut crime drama, Blue Collar (co-written with his brother Leonard), the crime drama Hardcore (a loosely autobiographical film also written by Schrader), his 1982 remake of the horror classic Cat People, the crime drama American Gigolo (1980), the biographical drama Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), the cult film Light Sleeper (1992), the drama Affliction (1997), the biographical film Auto Focus (2002), and the erotic dramatic thriller The Canyons (2013).

Schrader was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Joan (née Fisher) and Charles A. Schrader, an executive. Schrader's family attended the Calvinist Christian Reformed Church. His early life was based upon the religion's strict principles and parental education. He did not see a film until, when he was seventeen years old, he was able to sneak away from home. In an interview he stated that The Absent-Minded Professor was the first film he saw. In his own words, he was "very unimpressed" by it, while Wild in the Country, which he saw some time later, had quite some effect on him. Schrader attributes his intellectual rather than emotional approach towards movies and movie-making to his having no adolescent movie memories. Schrader is of Dutch descent.

Schrader earned his B.A. from Calvin College, with a minor in theology. He then earned an M.A. in Film Studies at the UCLA Film School upon the recommendation of Pauline Kael. With Kael as his mentor, he became a film critic, writing for the Los Angeles Free Press and later for Cinema magazine. His book Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer, which examines the similarities between Robert Bresson, Yasujirō Ozu, and Carl Theodor Dreyer, was published in 1972. The endings of his films American Gigolo and Light Sleeper bear obvious resemblance to that of Bresson's 1959 film Pickpocket. His essay Notes on Film Noir from the same year has become a much-cited source in literature on film.

Charles (1907 – 1978) and Ray Eames (1912 – 1988) created more than a look with their bent plywood chairs or molded fiberglass seating. They had ideas about making a better world, one in which things were designed to fulfill the practical needs of ordinary people and bring greater simplicity and pleasure to our lives.

The Eameses adventurously pursued new ideas and forms with a sense of serious fun. Yet, it was rigorous discipline that allowed them to achieve perfection of form and mastery over materials. As Charles noted about the molded plywood chair, “Yes, it was a flash of inspiration,” he said, “a kind of 30-year flash.” Combining imagination and thought, art and science, Charles and Ray Eames created some of the most influential expressions of 20th century design – furniture that remains stylish, fresh and functional today.

And they didn't stop with furniture. The Eameses also created a highly innovative “case study” house in response to a magazine contest. They made films, including a seven-screen installation at the 1959 Moscow World's Fair, presented in a dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. They designed showrooms, invented toys and generally made the world a more interesting place to be. As the most important exponents of organic design, Charles and Ray Eames demonstrated how good design can improve quality of life and human understanding and knowledge.

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