The 1970's marked a high-point in modern hedonism, and the "sex and drugs" lifestyle was played out most spectacularly in California. This was the era when wife-swapping became a reality, ... See full summary »

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The 1970's marked a high-point in modern hedonism, and the "sex and drugs" lifestyle was played out most spectacularly in California. This was the era when wife-swapping became a reality, and the new, sexually liberated way of life created a new look - captured in all it's glorious excess and tastelessness by the movie "Boogie Nights". Los Angeles was a land of bachelor pads and the conventional suburban homes - Ranch houses - were transformed with the addition of shag pile carpet and new inventions like the waterbed and the Jacuzzi, into sensual, swinging party houses. The result is an iconic image of modern decadence that has become part of the visual language of movies and music videos to this day. Written by World of Wonder Productions

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11 January 2007 (UK)  »

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An interesting documentary with fun and breezy delivery
17 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the 1970's California embraced a world of free love, hedonism and pornography. One commentator once said that if you tip the world on its side, everything loose will end up in Los Angeles and so it was at this time as a wave of cultural change washed over the city. With the hedonistic attitudes in the ascendancy, drugs are the norm and free swinging sexual parties and pornography grow out of it. This film looks at the sexy bachelor pads in the hills and the distinctive LA ranch house.

A film looking at the architecture of Los Angeles is not really an easy sale to the casual viewer so I can understand why this history of recent LA style and architecture chose to focus on the influence of the sexual revolution on the style and design of the period. Starting with a bit of sex and drugs to grab said casual viewer, the film looks back at the origin of the ranch house and then follows how it became embraced by the open culture of LA at the time and was complimented by designs and inventions such as the conversation pit, shag carpeting, waterbeds and the Jacuzzi. It is all delivered in a rather upbeat fashion that is accessible and surprisingly interesting.

To some viewers the way that it trades on images and pornography clips will feel pretty cheap and perhaps designed to grab the late night viewer but mostly it is in context with the subject and I didn't think it was trying to hook viewers looking for relief (and if it was then it was rubbish!). Although it never really delivered any revelations, the film is consistently interesting and, before you know it you find you have just watched a breezy review of modern design! To those already familiar with the subject and looking for a bit of depth then I can see why this wouldn't appeal as it is quite superficial but for the casual viewer it is an interesting documentary with fun and breezy delivery.


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