Friday, December 31, 2010

Design for Dreaming (1956)

Design for Dreaming (1956) is a musical sponsored film about a woman (played by dancer and choreographer Tad Tadlock; real name "Thelma Tadlock") who dreams about a masked man (dancer and choreographer Marc Breaux) taking her to the 1956 General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Frigidaire's "Kitchen of the Future." The entirety of the dialogue is sung, though the actors do not move their lips to their characters' prerecorded voices. The film starts off with her in her bedroom, with the masked man suddenly appearing. He then takes her to the Motorama. After looking at several cars including Buick, Chevrolet Corvette, Oldsmobile, and Cadillacs, she is taken to the "kitchen of the future," where she bakes a cake. She then goes back to the motorama and dances the "dance of tomorrow." After looking at more cars, she and her masked man (who unmasks himself) travel on the "road of tomorrow" in the "Firebird 2" and fall in love.

The film was directed by William Beaudine.

Design for Dreaming has gained a small cult following, with some enjoying it for its perceived camp value, and others enjoying it for nostalgic reasons. One prominent showing of the film was as a short feature in a fifth-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).The BBC documentary series Pandora's Box by Adam Curtis made extensive use of clips from Design for Dreaming, especially in the title sequence. Some footage was also used in the music video for Peter Gabriel's 1987 single "In Your Eyes," Rush's 1989 music video for "Superconductor," a 1989 commercial for the Nintendo Game Boy game Super Mario Land, a 1994 commercial for Power Macintosh, and in brief clips on an episode in the 2nd season of Penn and Teller: Bullshit. Clips were during Nine Inch Nails concert performances. Part of the film, with dialogue, is played during the opening titles for The Hills Have Eyes (2006 film). Some snippets (without dialogue) are played in the video watched by Michael Douglas during his physical in The Game (film) and in the opening titles for The Stepford Wives (2004 film).


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