Nov 23, 2010

Shampoo [1975]

Directed by Hal Ashby
Production Design by Richard Sylbert
Art Direction by W. Stewart Campbell
Set Decoration by George Gaines
Cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs
Film Format: 35 mm Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Columbia Pictures Corporation

To get to the kitchen in Shampoo, we first follow a long path from the driveway, to the rolling lawns in back, down to the clay tennis courts and back up to the sprawling Bel-Aire home of bored housewife Lee Grant and her spolied daughter Carrie Fisher, before finally entering. As the backdrop for Fisher to display her teenage anomie the kitchen is particularly well suited by offering all sorts of luxuries to be taken for granted. In the double-door refrigerator-freezer (the Sub-Zero of its day), already prepared cold-cuts and peeled and cut veggies are arranged and waiting on a plate under Saran Wrap. It helps to define her precociousness, affluence and sense of entitlement that she can carry on a pointed argument with her mother's lover while at the same time politely offering him a cold baked apple. If the Mr.Coffee coffee-maker (1973!), double sink and double ovens don't make us smile with sneering envy, the ever-effective (if strangely unhooded) center island stove surely will. You can just smell the clothes dryer and the central airconditioning.

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