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“The Eames Films are the Eames Essays”

Eames Films

Between 1950 and 1982, Charles and Ray Eames made over 100 short films ranging from 1-30 minutes in length (they also made slide shows and multiscreen presentations, also included in this on-line filmography). If you want to explore their work further, start here: the Eameses’ films are their essays. In addition, Eames Office productions since that time are also included in this database. Use the form below to search through the files or click here to choose from the Alpha list of titles.

Eames FilmsLibrary of Congress names 25 more films to the National Film Registry.
Powers of Ten, has been chosen for the National Film Registry. Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant motion pictures to the Registry each year. The list is designed to reflect the full breadth and diversity of America’s film heritage, thus increasing public awareness of the richness of American cinema and the need for its preservation.

Volume 1: Powers of Ten
Undoubtedly the most famous of the Eames Films, Powers of Ten is probably one of the most seen short films of the post-war era. Volume 1 also includes Rough Sketch – - the first version, made 9 years earlier.

Volume 2
Tocatta for Toy Trains, House , Blacktop and others. Volume 2 of the Eames Films contains three films that are absolutely key to any meaningful understanding of the Eames work: Tocatta for Toy Trains, Blacktop, and House: after 5 years of living. These three film essays touch on critical issues in Charles and Ray’s work: the honest use of materials, the uncommon beauty of common things, and the qualities of the landmark Eames House itself. Other films on this volume, each with its own champions are: Lucia Chase Vignette, Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair, The Black Ships, and Atlas. The 7 films on this tape were selected to allow the viewer to sample a wide range of work.

Volume 3
World of Franklin and Jefferson The three films on Volume 3 are all centered on the same project — the Franklin and Jefferson Exhibition done for the American Bicentennial in 1976. These three films were clustered together on this volume to give viewers a chance to see a hint of the way the Eameses used film to model ideas. The Franklin and Jefferson Proposal Film was actually a model of the show that changed the direction of the show in a profound way. The World of Franklin and Jefferson was the synthesis of many of the images and notions of the final show itself and Paris:The Opening of an Exhibition gives a view of the exhibition as it was installed.

Volume 4
Design Q&A, Goods, IBM Math Peep Shows and others. If you only ever saw 1 film on design it should be Design Q&A, the lead off film on this volume. 2 other key films in the EAames pantheon are in this Volume: Goods, an excerpt from Charles’ Norton lectures in Poetry and the only available version of an Eames 3 screen slide show, and SX-70, an introduction to a camera that becomes a meditation on the nature of photography. Other gems on this volume are Fiberglass Chairs , Copernicus, and the IBM Math Peep Shows.

Volume 5
Volume 5 of the Eames films is now available. This volume takes the more eclectic approach of volumes 2 and 4, including such titles as Tops, Computer Glossary Eames Lounge Chair, and IBM at the Fair, Expanding Airport, ‘Keplers Laws, Bread, Polyorchis Haplus, and Tops (from the Stars of Jazz).

Volume 6
A new volume of films by Charles and Ray Eames. Volume 6 contains Day of the Dead, S-73 (Sofa Compact), Babbage, Alpha, Exponents: A Study in Generalization, Solar Do-Nothing Machine, Aquarium (National Fisheries Center adn Aquarium), Parade.

Toy Trains / Kid’s Volume
Tocatta for Toy Trains and Parade. Two charming Eames shorts: Tocatta for Toy Trainsand Parade on a single volume. Though none of the Eames films were intended for narrowcasting, these two were paired on a separate tape so that kids could just hit rewind and watch these treasures again and again.

901: After 45 years of Working
This film is about the Eameses, not by them. Charles and Ray Eames moved to California in 1941. From 1943 until Ray’s death in 1988, the Eames Office was located at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, CA. (Today it works out of the Eames House). This film is a document of the space at 901 Washington and a record of its closing after Ray’s death. It uses 901 as a prism to examine the richness of the Eameses’ life and work.

Powers of Time
Powers of Time (1996), by Eames Demetrios for the Eames Office. This linear film is an extension of the Eames film Powers of Ten. It’s a journey in scale, this time through Time rather than Space — from the tiny attosecond to 31 billion years. Available only in the educational market.

Purchasing Eames Films
You can purchase the Eames Volumes at the Eames Gallery. Pyramid Media, the exclusive publisher of the Eames Films, is your source for single Eames Films and for the educational market. To learn more about them and the Eames titles they currently carry, click here.

Please note: All video volumes are also available in PAL format at the Eames Gallery.

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