Art Flick of the Week: Eames: The Architect & The Painter

Director Bill Jersey Talks Filmmaking in Advance of Screening at UCSB

<em>Eames: The Architect & The Painter</em>
Courtesy Photo

Arts & Lectures has dubbed their current film series “a feast for the eyes,” and this Sunday we’re being served the main course. At 1 p.m., UCSB’s Pollock Theater will play host to a screening of Eames: The Architect & The Painter, a colorful, quirky, and inspiring look into the world of Charles and Ray Eames.

For the unacquainted, the Eameses are regarded as two of the most influential names in modern design. While best known for their innumerable mid-century furniture creations, the pair’s artistic reach was multifold, crossing disciplines from filmmaking and photography to architecture and exhibition design for companies like IBM. For The Architect & The Painter, filmmakers Bill Jersey and Jason Cohn directed their lenses at all aspects of the couple’s endeavors, and as such, the film is brimming with eye-popping imagery and over-the-top interviews with many of Charles and Ray’s former employees.

“When we first talked to a couple of [the employees], I said to Jason, ‘We can’t put these people on television — they’re too weird,’” laughed Jersey in a recent phone interview. “But then I realized that that was the kind of creative weirdness that Charles loved. He was a very straight Midwestern cornball in many ways, but he loved the creative spark.”

And it’s precisely that spark that radiates out of Jersey’s film. The Architect & The Painter allows the viewer to peer into the couple’s wholly entwined private and professional lives, ultimately enveloping you in the world that Charles and Ray imagined.

“Through them I learned to see the world with a sharper focus and really rediscovering things that I thought I’d seen,” said Jersey. “[This film is] about the inspiration of what the Eameses did and how they did it. It’s my hope that people go beyond the logical, intellectual analysis of it and just let themselves be sucked in to their whirlpool of originality and creativity.”

Eames: The Architect & The Painter screens this Sunday, March 4, at 1 p.m. at UCSB’s Pollock Theater, followed by Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman at 3 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit for info.


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