MAKE HISTORY AND BE A HERO OF MODERNISM: A Project Bringing the Life and Work of Eileen Gray to Film and Preserving the Iconic E1027 Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 7, 2013.
About this project
Whether you're mad about modern architecture or an avid film fan or both, your patronage of this project will be a heroic gesture that both preserves an important 20th Century monument to modern architecture for posterity and kickstarts a film dedicated to Eileen Gray's right to be recognized as one of the most influential designers of the modernist era.
The Villa E1027 was the work of a woman at the height of her creative career. Originally conceived and constructed during the years 1926-29 for Jean Badovici, an architect himself and editor-in-chief of the avant-garde architectural publication L’Architecture Vivante, the villa is utterly unique in its ability to bring pure human sensibility and sensuality to the basic tenets of Modern architecture of the period championed by Le Corbusier. This subtle subversion of Le Corbusier’s vision, no doubt in many ways a comment on the Swiss architect’s conviction that a house should be no more than “a machine for living,” would result in a tumultuous history for the Villa E1027: many long years of misattribution and periods during which the very existence of this architectural masterpiece would be seriously compromised.
Today, rightfully recognized as the work of Eileen Gray and an icon of Modern architecture, the villa has been painstakingly repatriated and is currently undergoing restoration work under the supervision of the French cultural authorities. The site is expected to be opened to the public later this year. Concurrently, the production team behind the international feature film inspired by the life of Eileen Gray, THE PRICE OF DESIRE, has sought permission to shoot part of the film on the original site of E1027. The team is delighted to have recently received the endorsement of all the relevant authorities to do so, as well as their collaboration in the effort required to complete the restoration in time for shooting.
THE GOAL OF THIS PROJECT is therefore to augment the Art Department budget for the film in order to make a permanent and constructive contribution to the restoration effort and complete the works according to the specialists’ requirements, all the while serving the needs of the film. Without this addition to our Art Department budget, the film would simply be served with superficial and temporary Art Department decoration, which would unfortunately in no way aid the permanent historical restoration effort. As we endeavour to tell the story of the intriguing and elusive designer/architect Eileen Gray on film, we find ourselves with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to and ensure the timely completion of the restoration work on E1027, which was undertaken by the French Historic Monuments authorities nearly 5 years ago.
In addition, the restoration work will be closely followed by and featured in an accompanying documentary entitled GRAY MATTERS. Both films intend to elucidate, reinvigorate and duly recognize Eileen Gray’s extraordinary contribution to a century of Modern architecture and design.
Lightstream Pictures and Pembridge Pictures are partners in EG Film Productions Limited, which has developed and financed the film, THE PRICE OF DESIRE, which is currently in pre-production as an Irish–Belgian co-production with Saga Film. The film is scheduled to shoot on location from mid-May 2013, in part at Eileen Gray’s historic Villa E1027, with the permission of all the authorities responsible for the restoration and management of this historic site.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS PROJECT represents a direct contribution to the historic and scientific restoration of the villa and of the site (both interior and exterior) as Eileen Gray originally conceived them, as well as to the preservation of their historic evolution over the course of the villa’s existence – the very story told by THE PRICE OF DESIRE. In this way, the film will in a sense be giving back to Eileen Gray, to the actual historical site of E1027, and to the public at large by contributing to the permanent long-term restoration work of this historically significant piece of Modern architecture, so that it can finally be opened to the public later in the year.
The film’s producers and production designers, including Academy Award nominated© Anne Seibel, are in full consultation with the architects who have been overseeing the restoration of E1027 and its surrounding site. A joint project for the completion of the work has already been negotiated. We the producers, along with the film’s production designers, seek to involve the public for whom this restoration is intended in the final stages of that work with this Kickstarter project. We sincerely hope that by appealing to those for whom the preservation of architectural heritage is important and to those who wish to see Eileen Gray receive the recognition she deserves, we will raise at least the minimum of funds necessary to make a substantial contribution to the restoration of this architectural triumph and thus better visualise the extraordinary story of her phenomenal contribution to 20th Century Modern architecture and design with a credible level of cinematographic verisimilitude in THE PRICE OF DESIRE.
The Price Of Desire
The Prestigious International Narrative Feature Film by Mary McGuckian
THE PRICE OF DESIRE is the controversial story of how Eileen Gray’s influential contribution to 20thCentury architecture and design was almost entirely effaced from history by the egotistical Le Corbusier, and of how her relationship with philanderer Jean Badovici (Le Corbusier’s promoter by way of his highly influential architectural publication L’Architecture Vivante) further fuelled the rift between the two architects, both personally and professionally, thus consigning her legacy to a century of neglect and long-overdue recognition.
The film is set substantially in and around her most abiding work, the Villa E1027, now recognized by many as the first Modernist house ever constructed, and explores the events and details surrounding Le Corbusier’s effacement, defacement and eventual erasure of Gray’svery ownership of the actual physical house, thus establishing a more than pertinent metaphor for her loss of intellectual property right (or ‘Droit Moral’) over the villa she so lovingly created. The insidious re-attribution by omission of the villa by the chauvinistic men in her life strips Gray of her right to be recognized as the author of her own work – a telling story which resonates with women in the arts even today.
Summary Timeline of E1027
1926-29 Eileen Gray designs and builds E1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin for Jean Badovici
1931-35 Eileen Gray designs and builds Tempe à Pailla, a house for herself in Castellar; she leaves E1027
1938-40 Le Corbusier paints eight large-scale overtly sexual frescoes on the walls of E1027
1952 Le Corbusier builds his Cabanon next to E1027
1956 Badovici dies; E1027 is inherited by his sister in Romania
1958 The Romanian government offers the house at public auction
1960 Marie-Louise Schelbert purchases E1027 at auction at the bidding of Le Corbusier
1965 Le Corbusier dies of a heart-attack during his daily swim in the waters just in front of E1027
1982 Dr. Kaegi claims title to E1027 by bequest after the death of Marie-Louise Schelbert
1991 Dr. Kaegi sells 28 pieces of furniture from the villa at a Sotheby’s auction in Monaco - The Pompidou Centre (Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris) pre-empts the purchase of some of the more important proto-types
1996 Dr. Kaegi is violently murdered by a gardener after a dispute
1996-99 Left empty for several years, the villa is overtaken by squatters and vandalized
1999 The Conservatoire Du Littoral, a public entity charged with the preservation of the French coastline, purchases the property
2000 The villa, its garden and the surrounding land are classified as Historic Monuments by national decree on March 27th
RECENTLY, the Conseil Générale has undertaken the restoration project with the commune Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Alpes-Maritimes
The current Art Department budget for the film has been funded sufficiently to meet the needs of the film.
Our preference is to substantially enhance the Art Department budget in order to contribute permanently to the restoration of the site with work of the quality and exactitude required by the expert authorities responsible for the restoration.
Any additional funds raised by this project will also be allocated to the Art Department so that it can contribute more substantially to both the restoration of the overall site and the rendering of the site cinematically in the film. This would not only increase the production value of the film, but also greatly enhance the future life of the entire Villa E1027/Café Des Étoiles de Mer/Cabanon Le Corbusier Historical Site.
About The Production
Of The Narrative Feature Film
The film’s finance is fully closed and with participation from Ireland, THE IRISH FILM BOARD, ALLIED IRISH BANK, LIGHTSTREAM PICTURES And WINDMILL LANE PICTURES; LIGHTSTREAM PICTURES and PEMBRIDGE PICTURES’ special purpose vehicle, EG FILM PRODUCTIONS LIMITED, is the delegate production company in Co-Production with SAGA FILMS in Belgium. The Belgian participation also includes FILM FORTIS FUND BNP, AUDIOVISUAL SGR and COFILOISIRS. International distribution arrangements will be handled by three major companies in the US, Canada, and France.
CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION ELEMENTS
CAST – The film's A-List international lead and supporting cast will be announced at a special event during the Cannes Film Festival, on May 18th 2013. They will be playing the following roles:
KEY CHARACTERS -
SUPPORTING CAST - Drawn from an international pool of prominent European cinema practitioners, the roll-call of actors attached to play the seventy plus prominent characters that peopled Eileen Gray's world will also be formally announced on May 18th at the Cannes Film Festival. Some of those roles include:
LOUISE DANY – Eileen Gray’s Housekeeper and Companion
CHRISTIAN ZERVOS – Le Corbusier and Jean Badovici’s Life-Long Friend
ROMAINE BROOKS – Eileen Gray’s Intimate Friend
MARISA DAMIA – Eileen Gray’s Lover
FERNAND LÉGER – Le Corbusier’s Mentor for his Wall Murals
MARIE-LOUISE SCHELBERT – Le Corbusier's Friend who Purchased the Villa after Jean Badovici’s death
CHARLOTTE PERRIAND – Le Corbusier’s Friend and Famous French Furniture Designer
NATALIE CLIFFORD BARNEY – American Writer and Intimate Friend of Romaine Brooks and Eileen Gray
BRUCE CHATWIN – British Journalist and Travel Writer who Interviewed Eileen Gray in the Early 1970s
ARISTOTLE ONASSIS – Greek Shipping Magnate who Bid Unsuccessfully against Marie-Louise Schelbert and Le Corbusier at Auction for the Villa E1027 in 1960
KEY CREW COLLABORATORS (Note Credits Non-Contractual)
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
Acclaimed Cameraman Stefan Von Bjorn, credits include MAD MEN and MAN ON THE TRAIN
Oscar-Nominated Anne Seibel, credits include MARIE-ANTOINETTE and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, along with Emma Pucci
César-Nominated Sylvie Landra, credits include THE FIFTH ELEMENT and CATWOMAN
Award-Winning Theatre Designer and Ex-Parisian Couturier Peter O’Brien, credits include A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE; Peter was head of design for the House of Rochas for 15 years
Oscar-Nominated Alexandre Desplat, credits include THE KING’S SPEECH and ARGO
Renaissance Musician and Artist Julian Lennon, exhibitions include ART BASEL MIAMI
The film will shoot on location in France, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Vézelay and Paris, and on location and in studio in Belgium over the course of eight weeks from mid-May 2013.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ELEMENTS
Over thirty Irish, French, and international architects have contributed and continue to contribute to the film project, plus many others with academic and sometimes previously personal relationships with Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier, as well as students of the E1027 site. In particular, we have been in consultation with the Conservatoire du Littoral, the Conseil Générale and the Commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Alpes-Maritimes, all of whom are very happy for us to shoot at the site.
ii) ACADEMIC EXPERTS
The film has had and continues to have the input of many academic institutions and museums including extensive support from the authors of the three current PhD papers being prepared by curators at the Pompidou Centre, the National Museum of Ireland, the Zervos Museum, the Getty Archives and the V&A Archives. Curators at the National Museum of Ireland and at the Pompidou Centre have been particularly collaborative in preparing for the current large-scale monographic retrospective of Eileen Gray’s work held at the Pompidou Centre; the exhibition has opened to world-wide press acclaim.
iii) 20th CENTURY FURNITURE SPECIALISTS
The major dealers, collectors and auction house specialists who make up the commercial Eileen Gray community of experts, including the Galerie Vallois, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, have contributed to the clarification of the provenance of the work represented in the film. Christie’s, in particular, continues to be actively involved in arranging the re-enactment of the Yves Saint Laurent/Pierre Bergé sale at the held in 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris.At least thirty of those who sat in the front seats of the auction, including all of the bidders for the Dragon chair, which eventually sold for €21,5 million, have been identified and have agreed to participate in the re-enactment. An event has been created around the re-enactment scene to which everybody associated with the preparation and production of the film will be invited to participate.
iv) CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE PRODUCTION
The Rights Holders, Producers and Distributors, ARAM (UK), And CLASSICON (GERMANY), have actively participated in the research and development clarification of the Estate and will contribute image rights and donate contemporary pieces within their gift to the site prior to filming.
Award-winning theatre costume designer and couturier, Peter O’Brien (Irish couturier formerly of the House Of Rochas), will design Eileen Gray’s wardrobe to a contemporary aesthetic for the film. Sally O’Sullivan (Irish Stylist / Costume Designer), is co-ordinating the designers associated with each of the main characters as well as the overall wardrobe requirements for the film into a ‘Never-Before-Seen’ re-invention of the Eileen Gray aesthetic for today's audience. 20th Century Fashion Historian, Natalie Turturro, has researched and prepared a detailed study of the styles and iconic looks associated with all of the characters referenced in the film. Research assistance has been provided by Lanvin, Poiret, the V&A, the Pompidou Centre, the Galerie Peyroulet and the Archives housed at Collins Barracks, the National Museum of Ireland under the Curatorship of Jennifer Goff.
vi) PRODUCTION DESIGN
Anne Siebel (Academy Award-Nominated© French Production Designer and Architect) has been researching and working on the look for the film for over a year. The film will shoot partly on location and partly in studio. While the core central location of Eileen Gray’s Villa E1027 and its surrounding site, including the Cabanon by Le Corbusier, are intact and essentially restored, meeting the requirements of the film’s narrative spanning some fifty or more years will require detailed preparation and many decorative adjustments. Some interiors will be re-constructed in studio in Belgium, as will all of her furniture and artwork (stand-alone and built-in), faithfully re-constructed from original drawings and photographs. This project seeks to ensure that the house that Eileen Gray built can be filmed as it was in the period in which she built it, all the while protecting Le Corbusier's subsequent frescoes also restored on the site. Anne is applying a contemporary twist of a look and palette inspired by painter friends of Eileen Gray’s, from Francis Bacon to Louis Lebrocquy, intended to create a look for the film which evokes the very spirit of her elegant but minimalist style with the ambition of inspiring a new design aesthetic for the 21st Century.
Stefan Von Bjorn (RED Camera Expert who created the look for MAD MEN) has been testing combinations of light/palette and low contrast lenses and formats to find the required combination of points of view (much like an architectural plan) and feel (in response to the emotional narrative of the script). Tests will continue through the Pre-Prep and actual Pre-Production period. To date, the technical tests have been completed successfully.
Julian Lennon (Musician turned Photographer) has committed to creating a photographic homage to Eileen Gray around the film for publication and exhibition – Stoney Road Press in Ireland will most likely be the publishers of this special edition.
All primary locations have been identified and agreed in principle. The primary locations are:
a) The site of E1027, the Cabanon of Le Corbusier, and the Café des Étoiles de Mer at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the South of France.
b) The town of Vézelay (Home to Jean Badovici and Le Corbusier; where Eileen Gray completed a number of interiors) is supporting a range of locations courtesy of the local film commission De Yonne, the Zervos Museum, and the Mairie.
c) Paris – there will be two key shooting days in Paris, at Père Lachaise Cemetery and at the Grand Palais for the re-enactment of the Christie's Yves Saint Laurent/Pierre Bergé auction.
d) Belgium – The Eileen Gray interiors in the script will be faithfully re-created in studio in Belgium.
The majority of the 16 supporting/cameo roles have been cast pending confirmation of the final schedule. Fabien Boitière, casting director, has spent months confirming an international cast of exceptional renown to play the 79 named roles, having already committed some 20 of the more significant cast as per above.
A major female recording artist is set to play legendary French Singer Marisa Damia and record her most famous standard, 'On Danse à la Villette'.
Alexandre Desplat, subject to schedule, has agreed to review the early cuts of the film with a view to working with TEMPTATION (Providing additional funding and music supervision) to create an original score for the film.
Selected Eileen Gray Press Links
About Gray Matters
An Accompanying Documentary by Marco Orsini
GRAY MATTERS is the story of architect/designer Eileen Gray, a 20th Century artist whose vision, imagination and sensibility changed the way we live, both within houses and with the objects that furnish them.
GRAY MATTERS is a historical, scholarly and cinematic investigation of the life and art of one of the most significant, but little known, artists of the 20th Century.
The documentary GRAY MATTERS seeks to answer the critical questions of who Gray was, what she did and how her Modernist vision contributed to building the world we inhabit today. GRAY MATTERS will explore Gray’s family background, her education in Ireland and in Paris, as well as her professional apprenticeship in the rigorous and rarefied art of Japanese lacquerwork, from which she began her multi-dimensional career. Of aristocratic birth and financially independent, she was a woman of wide and celebrated acquaintance who spent her life at the epicenter of modernist creative foment. She experienced early triumphs, followed by middle-aged obscurity, and bursting acclaim during her later years. GRAY MATTERS will consider her characteristic passion for art, design and architecture, her dedication to her work and faith in her original vision, while chronicling her inspiration, her challenges and her influence, as well as the tragedies and controversies of her never less than fascinating life. Add it all up and today, more than ever, Gray Matters.
The documentary will focus particularly on the contemporary relevance of Eileen Gray’s Modernist and Minimalist architectural and design achievements, and thus follow the final stages of the project to finally complete the restoration of the Villa E1027 as the site prepares to open to the public later in the year.
About Replica Rewards:
Risks and challenges
Our Project Goal of $250,000 is the minimum ‘We,’ the producers, hope to entice you to donate. While the current budget would be the minimum sufficient to enable our art department to undertake and complete the expectations of the film’s needs, our simultaneous desire to render the work required for the film permanent, rather than temporary and thus useful to the restoration completion project on site, leads us to hope for a more significant level of donation which will enable us to do this with ease. Surpassing this Kickstarter project goal will allow both the film and the site to benefit from a more complete contribution to the Villa E1027 restoration and rendition in the film by financing more extensive long-term restoration on both the exterior site as well as the interior house to the highest possible standard.
At the same time, this Kickstarter project intends to raise interest and awareness for Eileen Gray and the film project overall and to stress the importance of this historical site as a siren of 20th century Modernism along with the influence Eileen Gray's work on it brought to bear on the entire Modern architectural movement.
Kickstarter donors should be reassured that the film’s production budget has already been secured and the production benefits from a completion bond guarantee already put in place with European film bonds. This underwrites the completion and delivery of the film elements required to exploit the picture, thus enabling the producers to categorically and confidently commit to the reward list proposed to Kickstarter donors. Therefore, completion and delivery of this particular project in the context of the overall production of this film is not only assured but also insured.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW SOON DO I RECEIVE MY REWARD AFTER DONATING?
All rewards are intended be received on or before the dates proposed. Please note that digital and physical versions of the film will be available immediately after the release of the film in the proposed format in your country of residence. The release dates of THE PRICE OF DESIRE DVD, the documentary GRAY MATTERS, and the CD of the score/ title track for example, after delivery of the film early in 2014 territory by territory. Other physical rewards such as the limited edition stills will be received immediately after final delivery of the film which has a bonded delivery date of end December 2013. The replica furniture reproduction pieces (3 reproduced copy chairs and screens) can be released three months after the completion of principal photography.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE DELIVERY OF MY REWARD?
The cost of the delivery for all physical rewards will be covered by the production in so far as those rewards can be delivered by standard or registered post. If the deliveree has a preferred method of delivery, production is happy to organize alternative means of delivery, but this will be at the deliveree’s own cost. With respect to the delivery of the larger pieces of furniture (the 3 reproduced chairs and screens by Eileen Gray), the production will liaise with the reward winners 3 months after principal photography, with respect to preferred delivery arrangements. In any case, delivery of any rewards other than by standard or registered post, must be at the deliverees cost and the production can not be held accountable for the cost and method of delivery chosen.
IF MY REWARD IS A SET VISIT/ BACKGROUND EXTRA/ FEATURED EXTRA, HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO ARRIVE AND WHERE TO GO?
A detailed call sheet clarifying the time and place as to when and where you should report for set visits, particularly for those participating in the actual film will be sent to you in advance and re-confirmed, (including any changes), on a regular basis as the date and time approaches. The final call sheet will be issued the day prior to shooting but every effort will be made to provide any and all advance information.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION?
You will be responsible for your own travel and accommodation arrangements, with no exceptions. The production will, however, be on hand to advise you as to the exact location and the best way of reaching the unit base, and /or recommend a selection of places to stay.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE REST OF THE FUNDS IF THE PROJECT ACHIEVES MORE THAN ITS GOAL?
We sincerely hope to surpass the goal proposed by this Kickstarter project and can reassure donors that all additional funds raised by this project will be allocated to the film's Art Department Budget to contribute more substantially to both the restoration of the site overall and the rendering of the E.1027 villa, interior and exterior cinematically in the film. Thereby increasing both the production value of the film as well as the scope and longevity of the site's final permanent restoration.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY REWARD LOOKS LIKE
If you have won one of the unique rewards, which include either of the three chairs/ screens, you can find images of them just below the end of the main text of the project.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (28 days)