Monday, March 28, 2011

Pies and Bungalows


via HBO

Mildred Pierce is a movie about 1930's houses in Glendale, CA. There's also a minor sub-plot involving a woman who bakes pies or something. You'll have to forgive me in advance since, having grown up in and around Glendale, I was paying less attention to Mildred's psychological turmoil and more to whether or not the film was naming real streets and places. Well, lo and behold it did. But it's also shockingly beautiful and depicts Glendale in a highly favorable light; like some kind of mecca of Spanish-style bungalows.




via HBO

In various reviews and interviews with the filmmakers, scenes are described as resembling Edward Hopper paintings. And like any good Hopper painting, there's a fair amount of dread lurking around every shot.


via HBO


via HBO

The community Mildred lives in, Pierce Homes, is a fictional sub-development that filmmakers based on original maps of Glendale from the early 20th century. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in reading an absolutely fascinating, and utterly nerdy history of the mission style bungalow and its use in perpetuating the "mission" myth/seducing midwesterners into moving to California, check out Mike Davis' City of Quartz.


via HBO

Watching the first two parts of this five part HBO mini-series, Andrew and I were pretty impressed with how accurately the film recreates depression era interiors considering we live in a home built less than a decade later - still a bungalow, but more Chicago Tudor, less California Mission.


via HBO

We also covet Mildred's kitchen.


via HBO

Parts 3, 4 and 5 of Mildred Pierce air on HBO April 3rd and 10th. Watch them.

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