Evil People Live in Modernist Houses in Popular Films

Ben Critton asks why popular films insist that a preference for modern architecture signifies something cold dubious about your character.

Not in real life, of course, but on film, yes. From Blade Runner to The Big Lebowski to pretty much every Bond movie (and any Austin Powers movie for that matter), the bad guys are guaranteed to inhabit cold, modern boxes. Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films by Ben Critton combines information about the modern houses that fictional characters have resided in with essays about the films they were represented in.

Looking at the villains of eight films—The Damned Don’t Cry (1950), Diamonds are Forever (1971), Blade Runner (1982), Body Double (1984), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), and Twilight (2008)—the tabloid-sized piece also examines exactly why modernism is so maligned in popular culture. But even if they're used for plotting to end the world they're sure pretty: If you want to actually get a peek of one of those lairs, simply Google the address, provided for each home. You can buy the zine at Printed Matter.


As this review notes, the topic has been explored extensively, namely in Thom Anderson's landmark documentary about Los Angeles being featured on film, Los Angeles Plays Itself. This clip will make you think twice about trusting anyone who lives in a midcentury modern home.