18 February 2009

Woody Harrelson in "Indecent Proposal"

Woody Harrelson as David Murphy

In 1991, a recession hit America. As a result, architect David Murphy and his wife Diana, a realtor, both loose their job. They are $50,000 in debt because the architect is in the middle of constructing his 'dream house', a structure that "sums up everything he believes about architecture." After a trip to Vegas, David makes a deal with a billionaire: one night with Diana for one million dollars.

This is the house that sums up everything Woody Harrelson believes about architecture.

The movie starts out with dual voice over narrations, David and Diana desribe their love for each other, their past, the whole set up for the movie. In one scene, Diana says of her husband...

"We never had much money, so for entertainment David would show me architecture that moved him. But sometimes I'd have to ask, 'Why are we looking at a stupid car wash.' And he'd reply, 'No, not stupid. Don't just use your eyes.' He made me look at things differently."

The writing is on the wall

After the breakup, with the recession in full swing, David goes back to USC to interview for a job as a professor. Here, it seems like the dean really doesn't want good, experienced teachers to shape the minds of the future of architecture:
Dean: You've done alot since USC. First in your class. AIA award. Why would you want this job?
David: Well, I want to work.
Dean: Overqualified.
David: Fine, exploit me.

Woody and brick.

The scene quickly moves on to David giving a lecture to a group of students:
David: Great architecture is only going to come from your passion. And even that won't assure you a job. Louie Kahn, died in a men's room in Penn Station for days noone claimed the body. (slide shows the Salk Institute) Look at that, is that beautiful? The money men did not weep, because the great ones are impossible to deal with, they're a pain in the ass because they know that if they do their jobs properly, if they just once get it right they can actually lift the human spirit, take it to a higher place. (holds up a brick) What is this?
Student #1: A brick!
David: Good. What else?
Student #2: A weapon.
David: Louie Kahn said that even a brick wants to be something. A brick wants to be something. It aspires. Even a common, ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. Wants to be better than what it is. And that is what we must be. See ya on Friday.

During the lecture, David shows slides of some pretty iconic architecture. The complete list is: Guggenheim New York Interior, Barragan House, Guggenheim exterior, A house that looks like Ghery's moms house, but isnt, Salk Institute, Phillip Exetor Library, Salk Courtyard, Salk again, Gaudi's Casa Mila rooftop, Eygptian Pyramids, Panthenon, Notre Dame, Ronchamp, Sagrada Familia, Chryster Building

Interesting not, today we get our first crossover, two time architect...
Student #2, played by Art Ghudabala, also played an employee of the firm in Life as a House.

I know alot of you out there are worried about the economy, some of you may have been laid off, some might be worried about mortages... I'm not saying that selling your spouse out is a surefire way to make it through the next year, but, its always an option.


  1. don't you think that the frightening thing about this film is that the depiction of a slightly pretentious and humourless architect isn't that bad!?

  2. I was looking for a post like yours. I'm an architect and i really enjoy this moment of the film. I think is a litlle gift for those love the most creative and wonderfull world's proffesion... ours! :)

    Greetings from Argentina,


  3. Thanks for giving the details of the architecture shown in this film. I lost my bet but still gained knowledge.

    Greetings from France

  4. Woody Harrelson excellent actor an the movie was so good, I have been watched it two times and I have injoyed it a lot.

  5. It is an awesome film, it used to be one of my favorites.