When Charles and Ray Eames were asked to produce a film for the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959, they agreed, but on the condition that the film would not be reviewed before the show.
Government officials who had sanctioned the film were clueless on the progress—even the subject—of the film, as documented in Eames: The Architect and the Painter. During regular check-ins, a representative would sit down for a showing, the reel would start, and then shortly thereafter go blank. “Well that’s all we have so far,” was the comment from the Eames Office team. “Oh, okay, looks good I guess,” was the typical response from the minder. And so it went, all the way to opening day.
Arriving in Moscow the night before the scheduled opening, film in hand, Charles and Ray were ready to premiere their Glimpses of the U.S.A. Displayed on seven screens, each 20 feet high by 30 feet wide, their film stole the show. Time magazine called it “the smash hit of the Fair.”
But how does such a film end? It was George Nelson, exhibition design director, who suggested the Eameses finish “with love,” and they did: a single shot of forget-me-nots, translated literally in English and Russian.