As a documentary filmmaker, I have never been presented with such an extraordinarily well-timed opportunity such as visit the subject of Eileen Gray. When Mary McGuckian approached me with the amount of research done thus far on her feature film based on Eileen Grays turbulent relationship with Jean Badovici and the Le Corbusier titled The Price of Desire, I had no choice but to take advantage of being able to create such an important piece of work.
In the last year, there have been 2 serious retrospectives on Eileen Gray’s work. First, at the Pompidou in Paris and second at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin. Both were extended due to the phenomenal world-wide response to the exhibition. Over a hundred thousand people walked through the doors of the Pompidou in 2013 to take in the exhibition.
With the freedom to film the exhibits brought together at both museums as well as exceptional access to the National Museum of Ireland, I have been able to amass film on Eileen Gray’s collection never see before on film and arguably impossible access so easily ever again. Because of the filming of the narrative feature at E-1027, I was able to film the villa in Roquebrune Cap Martin as Eileen Gray had designed it prior to Le Curbusier murals. This also will never be seen or captured on film again as the villa is being restored to this day with the murals screaming their presence on every wall.
Not only have I been able to film most of her work which will be returned to the collectors once the retrospective at IMMA closes in January 2014 in Dublin as well as film at e-1027, but I have had the opportunity to visit and interview all of the world’s experts in the many fields the work of Eileen Gray spans, all of whom agreed to share their thoughts on the woman, her life, her works, her design and her architectural influence on camera. Philippe Garner from Christies, Joseph Rykwert who wrote the original essay titled Two Houses by Eileen Gray (the first publication about her work after Corbusier’s book Des Canons), Caroline Constant who wrote several books and essays on Eileen Gray, Zeev Aram who holds the world wide production and distribution license for most of Eileen Gray’s furniture pieces.
The capacity to capture the exceptional detail of her pieces was a function of the shooting style. By filming on a Canon 5d and using a macro 100mm lens, I was able to capture the tiniest of details even including the different types of screws and hinges she developed to assemble her furniture. To be blunt, I don’t know of any other documentary film being made to today or in the future on Eileen Gray which could or would hope to realise the vast scope of access assembled by this production to date.”