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The Furniture Index

Can we have a random break for applause for Daniel Walber's The Furniture column. It was Daniel's birthday this weekend so he has the day off. His incredible series has been filled with sharp insights, a keen eye, and rich Hollywood anecdotes. Here's everything he's covered thus far, all 98 episodes. Please show your love in the comments if you look forward to these each Monday.

Early Cinema
• Top Hat (1935) Dancing sets

The Forties
Hold Back the Dawn (1941) Bored at the border
How Green Was My Valley (1941) Designing dignity
Ladies in Retirement (1941) Into the marshes with Ida Lupino
That Hamilton Woman (1941) High ceilings
Captain of the Clouds (1942) A Canadian air show
The Magnificent Andersons (1942) Victorian Palace / Manifest Destiny
My Gal Sal (1942) Nonsense Gay Nineties
The Shanghai Gesture (1942) Appropriating Chinese design
Gaslight (1944) Lighting of and in the set
Black Narcissus (1947) Mad for matte paintings

The Fifties
• David and Bathsheba (1951) A humble palace of moral struggle
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Decorative madness
My Cousin Rachel (1952) Ghosts of property
Knights of the Round Table (1953) Reframing King Arthur
The Night of the Hunter (1955) American expressionism
Lust for Life (1956) Van Gogh's inspiration

The Sixties
How the West Was Won (1962) Saloon kitsch
Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) weird wonders
Come Blow Your Horn (1963) Comedy by design
Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) Your house is listening
A Shot in the Dark (1964) Charmingly ridiculous
What a Way To Go! (1964) Death by excess
Fantastic Voyage (1966) Absurd anatomy
The Oscar (1966) Celebrate the tackiness!
Camelot! (1967) A silly and furry place
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and Doctor Dolittle (1967) matte paintings
Is Paris Burning? (1967) Is patriotism subtle? Not very
The Taming of the Shrew (1967) A scenery buffet for the Battling Burtons
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) Extravagant concentrated nostalgia

The Seventies
The Exorcist (1973) A possessed bedroom
Tom Sawyer (1973) Stovepipe and steamboat nostalgia
Fellini's Casanova (1976) Grotesque extravagance
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Supertanker
All that Jazz (1979) The creative erotics of scaffolding

The Eighties
Querelle (1982) explicit architecture
Amadeus (1984) Paper opulence
Brazil (1985) Duct soup
Beaches (1988) Color schemes
Batman (1989) Nightmare at the museum

The Nineties
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Dracula's astounding castle
Orlando (1992) Otherworldy pageantry
Toys (1992) Surreal spaces
Addam's Family Values (1993) Setting fire to Thanksgiving
The Madness of King George (1994) Cluttered musty madness
Sleepy Hollow (1999) Historical realism meets nightmarish fantasy
Topsy Turvy (1999) Imperial fantasy in Gilbert & Sullivan's London

Sidebars to TV
• Best of Absolutely Fabulous - Special Report
Emmy Production Design 2016 - Should win? Penny Dreadful, Veep, etc
Emmy Produciton Design 2017 - Should win? The Young Pope, Feud, etc
Oscar Set Design 2016 - Art Deco Again
Oscar Set Design 2017 - Swarovski Crystal Diamond Mine

Dreamgirls (2006) Fame flattens your dream(girls), boys
Pan's Labyrinth (2006) Feasts of flesh
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Chicanery and posterity
The Skin I Live In (2011) Decorating obsession
Brooklyn (2015) and Carol (2015) Dramatically different department stores
Joy (2015) Emerald city of home shopping
Lady in the Van (2015) Crime scene home
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) The Forest

Recent Cinema
20th Century Women (2016) Unfinished house, collaborative kitchen
Arrival (2016) and Passengers (2016) Lost in space and time
Beatriz at Dinner (2017) Tacky muted mansion
Childhood of a Leader (2016) Cruel curtained childhood
• The Conjuring 2 (2016) Malevolent secret codes
• Colossal (2017) Hoarding and emptiness
Deadpool (2016) Junkyard
• Embrace of the Serpent (2015/2016) The venomous and fanatical
The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Stark contrasts and devotional objects
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) 70's sitcom styles
• Fantastic Beasts (2016) and La La Land (2016) Magic unreality
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) Exuberant fandom
• Frantz (2017) Decorating for a lost generation
• Get Out (2017) Beige house of colonial horrors
Ghostbusters (2016) Shrieking color scheme
Hail Caesar (2016) Merrily We Dance
Hell or High Water (2016) Old West descendants
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) A warm welcome
Jackie (2016) and Paterson (2016) Home décor
King Arthur Legend of the Sword (2017) Reframing King Arthur
The Lobster (2016) Phony flowers
• The Lost City of Z (2017) deranged ambitions and indulgent fantasies
Love and Friendship (2016) Country charm
The Love Witch (2016) A tarot reading
Personal Shopper (2017) Framing the unseen
• A Quiet Passion (2017) floral punctuations
The Salesman (2016/2017) Crafting his own stage
Slack Bay (2017) Giddy grotesqueries
Star Trek Beyond (2016) Terrestrial fun
Toni Erdmann (2016) The dangers of corporate upholstery
Wiener-Dog (2016) Sickly green cages
The Witch (2016) Design heralds doom

The Now
Atomic Blonde (2017) Neon nihilism
The Beguiled (2017) A plaster haze
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Canadian brutalism in LA
Mudbound (2017) architectural metaphors
The Shape of Water (2017) A neon green future
The Furniture's Personal Oscar Ballot 2017 The Beguiled and more...

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Reader Comments (8)

I had missed the Everybody Wants Some post-thanks for collecting all of these. I just love that movie, and not just for the extremely obvious reasons. Bravo Daniel!

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I love this series. Thank you! Really appreciate it!

So, Daniel is a Leo?

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

One of my favorite series here. Congrats Daniel, and keep it up!

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Daniel does such brilliance with The Furniture! Lovelovelove!

July 31, 2017 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

Yes, thanks and many happy returns from me too. Excellent column!

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Absolutely! It's an extraordinary series and I look forward to reading it every Tuesday morning (Australian time). A great mix of new and old films and equally interesting whether I've seen the film or not. May the series continue as long as Daniel is inspired to write it.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Daniel!

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Thank you Daniel for fun take on under- discussed topic.
It certainly makes me think about Production Design while watching movies :D

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJija

Such an insightful writer. Recently watched "A Quiet Passion" with Daniel's observations in mind, and it truly enhanced the experience. Happy Birthday Dude!!

August 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan

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