Last house on the left | Bleader

Last house on the left

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Besides being generally mediocre to lousy movies, what do all these Hollywood features have in common: The Loved One, Nurse Betty, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Playing by Heart, Galaxy Quest, The Marrying Man, and, most recent of the bunch, Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies? Give up?--well c'mon, of course ya do! But the unequivocal "correct" answer--if only because I can't think of another that works as well--is: location, location, location ... since all were shot, at least in part, in and around Pierre Koenig's steel-and-glass residential masterpiece in the Hollywood Hills: Case Study House 22, or Stahl House, as it's more commonly called today. You've probably seen this modernist icon any number of times, in contexts ranging from Julius Shulman's oft-reproduced photo (the one at the top of the post, albeit colorized here) to L'Oreal perfume commercials designed for Academy Awards telecast. The house with the "terrific view" at the top of a cliff at the end of the Sunset Strip has been sought out by filmmakers since the day of its completion back in 1960. "They made a movie here in 1962 called Smog," recalled longtime CSH22 owner Carlotta Stahl in a 2004 LA Times piece on popular residential shooting sites. "But when they came up, it was a clear day, so they had to spray gunk on the windows to make it look like you were looking out at smog." Assorted other specimens from the Case Study project, all built by the same clique of (primarily California-based) architects and designers--Ray and Charles Eames (he of plywood chair fame), Craig Ellwood, Julius Ralph Davidson, et al--have popped up in lots of movies too ... though none so far by Wes Craven, and Michael Bay has yet to blow any of 'em up.

Just a matter of time for that, I'm sure ...

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