Gray Matters

Gray Matters

Marco Orsini (2014)

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Review

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Narrated by Mary McGuckian (who directed the biopic The Price of Desire), Marco Orsini's profile of Irishwoman Eileen Gray (1878-1976) is aimed at those already familiar with her work as a modernist artist, designer and architect. Biographer Jennifer Goff and American academic Caroline Constant provide most of the historical context and analysis, tracking her career from an affluent Anglo-Irish childhood to her early experiments with lacquering. Much fuss is made over her famous "Brick Screens", but little insight is offered into their aesthetic significance, despite the contributions of Zeev Aram (to whom Gray granted the rights to reproduce her designs) and Joseph Rykwert, who brought Gray's achievements to wider attention in the 1960s. Similarly, Gray's theories on furniture and interior design are glossed over, as Orsini switches his attention to her romance with architect and critic Jean Badovici and her fractious relationship with architectural titan Le Corbusier over the authorship of Villa E-1027 at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Now feted as a feminist icon, Gray is a fascinating figure, but she deserves a more fitting memorial than this.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Mary McGuckian
Director Marco Orsini

Other Information

Language: English, FrenchColourTheatrical distributor: Munro Film ServicesReleased on: 27 May 2016