Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Meet on Mosaic Floor

Is it stretching a bit too far to call this a mosaic? It's a tesselation, but a mosaic? I'm going with it because I've been holding on to these pictures for over a week and want to use them.

The floor appears in several films, most notably Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the beginning of the movie, this floor and lobby stands in for a hotel in Columbia where John Smith (Brad Pitt) meets Jane (Angelina Jolie).

As Jane looks at John and the camera focuses on the weapon hidden under her dress (like a weapon would be unnoticable under the sheer fabric, which silhouettes her entire figure...but I digress), we clearly see this floor.

Here's another view of the lobby, looking out. Stained glass windows are mosaics, technically, right? Pieces of tile or glass fitted together to form an image? The stained glass--the windows, in fact--do not appear in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. But if you imagine a big wooden bar along the left wall, that's where Brad Pitt stood. Put a lot of small tables and plants in the space, and you have an old South American hotel.

The girders on that left window may be a "V", because the place was originally called the Van Nuys Hotel when it was built in 1892.

This link leads to a picture of the entire hotel on You-Are-Here. The stained glass window and main entrance are on the bottom left, facing 4th Street. Today it is the Barclay, and it stands at 4th and Main. Also in that linked pictue, notice that the corner windows seem vacant. That corner space is often set up to look like a coffee shop, especially in CSI shows.

This picture is of a doorway and transom window that leads off the lobby, to the left as you walk in. It was highly ornamented and colorful in the movie, but recognizable.

The last shot shows the great enclosed front desk, visible in the movie too. (The bar would be to the far right). There's actually an old-fashioned switchboard inside--a modern system sits right in front of it, but the switchboard is still there.

The pillars, the floor, the iron bars--the Barclay was where Mr. and Mrs. Smith met.

I can't claim to have come up with this on my own--but I did verify it by watching the movie opening a couple of times.

No, the info came from Harry Medved who knows all there is to know (just about) of movie locations. He led a tour of the downtown area while promoting his new book Location Filming in Los Angeles (Images of America Series).

As for the Van Nuys/Barclay Hotel, Here is an old postcard showing it in its Van Nuys days--the stained glass windows once lined both sides of the place, but now only two are left. I found this at a USC site.

No comments: