HALLOWEEN, HOLLYWOOD AND MID-CENTURY MODERNISM
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Thanks to Tom Blachford's exhibition Midnight Modern, we've spent the past month immersed in the world of mid-century Palm Springs architecture – surrounded by eerie, large-scale photographs of moonlit Californian modernism. If you missed the show, don't worry – Tom's prints are now up in our online store

Anyway, with Halloween having just passed us by it seems like the perfect time to keep on wallowing in that midnight feeling. But, beyond Tom's masterful framing and use of light, what is it exactly about Palm Springs modernism that evokes such a weird sense of unease? This week we came across a zine that spookily aligned with our current obsession:

9 - EvilPeopleInModernistHomes02

Benjamin Critton's zine Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films  is currently on display in the library at The Good Copy (our lovely neighbours just around the corner from Modern Times). Drop in and check it out if you get the chance. Flipping through the new edition, we discovered one obvious fact we hadn't considered: Hollywood villains pretty much always live in modernist houses!  

Cue: Halloween modernism-movie marathon! Here are some of our favourite mid-century Palm Springs bad-guy lairs. The homes link to the Google map addresses so you can get a bit creepy yourself and snoop around the neighbourhood.

8 - SheatsGoldsteinHouse

Building:

Sheats Goldstein House (1963)

Architect:

John Lautner

Movie:

The Big Lebowski. In the movie it's the home of wealthy pornographer and loan shark Jackie Treehorn.

5 - TwinPalms

Building:

Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms Estate (1947) 

Architect:

E. Stewart Williams. 

Movie:

The Damned Don't Cry. In the film, the exterior used as a gangster's desert hideaway. 

1 - ElrodHouse

Building:

Elrod House (1968)

Architect: 

John Lautner

Movie:

Diamonds Are Forever. In the film, it's the home of reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte and the scene of James Bond's acrobatic fight with villains Bambi and Thumper.

4 - LovellHealthHouse

Building:

Lovell Health House (1927–29)

Architect:

Richard Neutra

Film:

LA Confidential. In the film it's the home of wealthy pimp Pierce Morehouse Patchett (operator of Fleur-de-Lis, a call-girl service that runs prostitutes altered by plastic surgery to resemble film stars).

6 - GarciaHouse

Building:

Garcia House (1962)

Architect:

John Lautner

Movie:

Lethal Weapon 2. In the film it's the home of the main antagonist, South African diplomat and smuggler Arjen Rudd.

7 - ReinerHouse

Building:

Reiner House, aka Silvertop (1963)

Architect:

John Lautner

Movie:

Less Than Zero. In the film it's the unwelcoming family home of college freshman-turned-addict Clay Easton.

3 - ChemosphereHouse

Building:

Chemosphere House (1960)

Architect:

John Lautner 

Movie:

Body Double. In the movie, it's the house from which struggling actor Jake Scully witnesses the murder of his mysterious neighbour Gloria.

So... why do so many of Hollywood's villains live in houses designed by John Lautner? Check out Ben's zine for some interesting theories.

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