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cinecitta studios

La Dolce Cinecittà

On the outskirts of Rome lies Cinecittà, the biggest movie studio in mainland Europe. Launched in 1937 as a propaganda factory for Mussolini, it later became a playground for some of the most stylish and iconic filmmakers in history: Sergio Leone shot spaghetti westerns there; Fellini called it his “temple of dreams.” More recently, it was home to Scorsese's "Gangs of New York." Usually, cinephiles can only get a peek at Cinecitta’s storied campus via private group tours—not easy to arrange for the average tourist—but through November 30th, the studio’s gates are open to the general public for the first time. The main attraction is an exhibit of Cinecittà memorabilia, but I was just as interested in the studio itself: A prime example of WWII-era modernist architecture.
November 7, 2011
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Friday Finds 10.21.11

This week, the Dwell office was abuzz with saxophone playing KJs, Star Trek the Next Generation, vintage design finds, babies who confused magazines with iPads, and the new Tom Waits record. Scroll down to see what else has been on our minds.
October 21, 2011

Movie Posters of Soy Cuba

If movie posters are essentially advertisements to get you into the theater, the Hollywood versions splashed with matinee-idol close-ups and 100-point typefaces, then the moody, highly graphic design on display in the new book Soy Cuba: Cuban Cinema Posters from After the Revolution is a queer kind of commercial indeed. The posters reprinted here seem less interested in packing the house than functioning as small, playfully abstracted works of art in and of themselves. They hail from the late 1950s through the 1970s and taken as a whole they seems to suggest a parallel universe of movie posters untethered from a commercial drive, floating somewhere closer to book jacket design or museum-worthy art posters. Have a look at our slideshow for an excellent preview of what's inside Soy Cuba. The book is out at the end of the month from Trilce Ediciones.
October 6, 2011
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Friday Finds 7.29.11

Wonder what all the Dwellerz have we been checking out on the interwebz this week? Scroll down to through Friday Findz to uncover what we saw.
July 29, 2011
One Week

Prefab Slapstick in One Week

I was in the process of researching a big prefab round-up story this week when I came across what might be the only prefab slapstick comedy in existence. A good three decade's before Jacque Tati's M. Hulot bumbled his way through the modern world, Buster Keaton played a luckless newlywed trying to build a kit home in One Week (1920). Build-it-by-the-numbers kit homes had come onto the market at the turn of the century—Sears Roebuck & Co. introduced theirs in 1908—so Keaton was playing with a newish mode of American housing. As you might expect, things go terribly wrong for our hero, not least of which because his building materials get all mixed up. You can see the 19-minute film in the two videos posted below.
July 25, 2011
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Building the Maxon House: Week 20

In our latest Backstory series, Seattleite Lou Maxon recounts the thrills and trials of ditching the suburbs, buying property, and designing and building a modern house with Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects. Week 20: Sneak Preview: Maxon House Documentary Film Series.   Kontent Partners is a Seattle/L.A./New York-based creative production company and the filmmakers and producers behind the Maxon House documentary film series. In Week 20 of our Maxon House blog, Kontent Partners and Maxon House director Craig Brooks share the second in a series of film trailers for the upcoming series. Like the blog, this trailer (and series in progress) offers a sneak peek into the real-life process of designing, concepting and ultimately building a modern dwelling for a family of five. With this documentary, Kontent Partners celebrates the individual stories of the designers, contractors, subcontractors, artisans and craftspeople that have had a critical hand in the ultimate creation of Maxon House.
July 20, 2011
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'Woodstock Trees' by Sebastian Mariscal

We here at Dwell are big fans of Sebastian Mariscal's work; we've featured his projects in the magazine several times over the years (see here and here) and have an amazing house he designed in southern California for a Japanese couple in our upcoming September 2011 issue, which hits newsstands August 2nd. So I was intrigued to receive a notice that he'd made a video, "Woodstock Trees," to illustrate a recent project he was working on, a vacation house in Woodstock, New York.
July 4, 2011
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Unseen Eames: Films from the Vault

One of the events I'm most excited about at this year's Dwell on Design is Unseen Eames, a half-hour screening of rare and little-seen films from the Eames family archive at 4:00 pm on Friday June 24th on the Design Innovation Stage.
June 21, 2011
Caption: This giant set was created to film scenes for the 1987 movie <i>The Gate</i>

Friday Finds 6.10.11

On this Friday, catch a glimpse of what our editors have been raving about all week. The longest hug in MTV history (rumor has it they're STILL hugging), animated renditions of the best television series know to man (no bias here!), a guitarist who seeks stop "aimless knob-twiddling" (insert the obvious remark here), and a video of babies whose motions are akin to those in an inebriated state. Enjoy!
June 10, 2011