Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray (1878–1976) was a leading light in the modern design movement. This graceful portrayal of her later life and work in France focusses on the triangle of tension between Gray (Orla Brady), her lover Badovici (Francesco Scianna) and Le Corbusier (Vincent Perez). Alanis Morrissette also features as chanteuse Marisa Damia, Gray’s other lover, with Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen, Amélie) as artist Fernand Léger.
Extensive sequences feature E-1027, the modernist villa Gray built near Roquebrune. Ransacked by the Germans during the war, E-1027 was even more disastrously occupied and vandalized by Corbusier and his murals. The boys’ club chauvinism resonates with the wider elision of women’s role in art history. Corbusier’s arrogant formalism is contrasted with Gray’s
sympathetic, responsive approach to site and setting. In frequent asides, Corbusier swings between a tetchy resentment and grudging admiration for her work.
Orla Brady’s exquisitely calibrated interpretation of Gray suggests her questioning yet exacting temperament, her fluid sexuality and reflective creativity. The film’s sumptuous yet restrained style evokes Gray’s elegant aesthetics and is a timely
accompaniment to recent major shows.
Stephanie McBride, Film Studies, NCAD
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Please note that the festival is over 18s only
Please note that the dress code for Gala events is smart casual.