Iconic furniture designer Charles Eames and his wife Ray, best known for inventing the Eames chair trademarked by Herman Miller Inc., are the subjects of a new documentary recently released on DVD.
Eames: The Architect and the Painter is earning high marks from critics for its close examination of the creative and complex husband-and-wife duo.
In 1946, the Eameses experimented molding thin sheets of plywood in a device they dubbed the "Kazam! Machine." The Eameses used the machine to press thin sheets of wood veneer against a heated membrane inflated by a bicycle pump. The end result of these experiments was creation of the Eames chair, which Time magazine hailed as the Best Design of the 20th Century.
The film not only reflects on the creation and astounding success of the Eames chair, but ata long legacy of products from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. In addition, the film by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey,captures the sometimes "torturous" relationship between Charles and Ray, while shedding new light on their impact on the development of modernism.
The documentary is narrated by James Franco and available from First Run Features.