The Top 10 Houses in Film

Spend a chilly fall weekend watching classic architecture in living color:

Peer into these windows!

1. Ice Storm, filmed on location in New Canaan. This gorgeous and little-known Ang Lee film based on the Rick Moody book displays life in the too-much-glass houses-in-the-woods of the 1970s. Especially poignant moment comes early when the parents are getting tanked at a party and the children are spying on them from a skylight over the kitchen. Brilliant.


2. Contempt, filmed at Casa Malaparte in Isle of Capri, Italy. Brigitte Bardot is the world’s most sizzling sex kitten. Watch her romp around this classic modern home, built into a rock, surrounded by the sea.



3. I Was Born, But ... A silent made in 1931 by the famed Japanese director Ozu, this was made on location outside of a pre-modern Tokyo. It's a fascinating snapshot of how modern ways were creeping into the traditional social and architectural structure. A commuter train cuts right through the town.



4. Metropolis. Fritz Lang's 1927 fascinating vision of a future city. Haunting, bizarre, uncanny.

4. Metropolis. Fritz Lang's 1927 fascinating vision of a future city. Haunting, bizarre, uncanny.

5. Triplets of Bellevue. This wonderful animated film by a Canadian director has no dialogue, the entire soundtrack is clicks, clangs, and original music. But it's his vision of a quirky house on the edge of the hill that ends up getting swallowed up by a rapidly expanding Paris that makes it so fascinating. A terrific encapsulated history of urban development.

6. High and Low. Akira Kurosawa's thriller was filmed in 1963 in Kanagawa. Most of it is set in a terrifyingly ordered and modern house overlooking the chaos of an industrial morass. The villain constantly peers through the home's enormous picture windows through binoculars from his hovel, in the heart of the city.



7. Visual Acoustics. Architectural photographer Julius Schulman captured mid-century modern Los Angeles like no one else. This film revisits the homes with the artistic master.

8. The Big Lebowski. My favorite LA home, hands down, is the Sheats Goldstein residence, where The Dude gets drugged. Check out the deeply coffered, poured-in-place ceiling and the groovy built-ins.

9. Romeo + Juliet (1968). Not so much about a house, though Villa Borghese plays a role, but a gorgeous set piece filmed on location in the medieval Italian towns of Artena, Gubbio, and Pienza.



10. My Architect. Louis Kahn's son's documentary about his father's architecture. If the architecture doesn't move you, Nathaniel's earnest struggle with his absent genius father surely will.