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DAN'S PAPERS, May 1, 2009 Page 21 www.danshamptons.com

Think/Create Three Projects Combine Rare Design, Common Sense By April Gonzales Can eco-chic be stylish to the point of elegance while being comfortable? Even luxurious? Several projects across the twin forks indicate that not only are people committed to the concept of reducing their environmental impact, they’re devoted to good design. Private homes, commercial buildings and large scale residential developments have taken seriously the new Leaders in Environmental Education (LEEDS) standards in the design process. LEEDS has several new award categories to help architects and landscape architects in their design. For example architects can work with engineers to create efficient maintenance sys-

tems that minimize building waste and transportation costs during construction, and reduce energy usage by the homeowner. Landscape architects can use native plants and outline organic maintenance programs. Glynnis Berry, a local architect from studio a/b in Orient and Riverhead, recently welcomed people at the door of a project she designed and built in Greenport. The Peconic Land Trust had organized a benefit for their Charnews Farm Project that inviting the public to see a LEEDS gold standard home, and quiz the builder and the designer on how the standards were incorporated. “It’s a lot of small things that add up,” Berry

explained, “a lot of it is common sense and taking the extra care.” (Architects have always thought this way, but the LEEDS concept is becoming more visible and manufacturers are getting on board with new building products.) The house in Greenport was built of structural insulation panels. Berry designed templates for the panels, which were precut by the manufacturer. Although the builder had some tweaking to do, the result was a tightly fitted structure with very little heat loss. Materials overruns were substantially diminished since the contractor only bought what he really needed. This means more efficient climate control and less construction (continued on page 24)

GREY GARDENS: THE FILM REVIEW By Dan Rattiner The wonderful thing about the original documentary about Grey Gardens, which has won many awards over the years, is the viewer’s sudden discovery that two older high society ladies, one the mother of the other, are living together in a time warp in a great falling down mansion near the ocean in East Hampton in utter filth and squalor, and they think that everything is perfectly fine. The trouble with the film Grey Gardens is that it steers away from this “present day” situation and tries to encompass the entire, complicated period of these people’s lives between 1938 and 1978 in a low budget hour and a half HBO movie. It is too big a bite to take and accomplishes little, in spite of excellent performances by the two leads, particularly Drew Barrymore. It also doesn’t help that, for budget-

ary reasons, it was entirely filmed in Canada. In order to hide that fact, the director is forced too often into close ups at the wrong time that result in never really capturing the sense of the place, which is something very important in a movie about a house. What he does capture is the fact that each actor is required to play their characters at ages 15 and 50 (Drew Barrymore) and at ages 45 and 80 (Jessica Lange) and that between close-ups and make-up, they can’t do it successfully. It just doesn’t look real. I think the screenwriters were misled by the sensational 2005 Broadway play of the same name and the same story which, unlike the original documentary, has the first act take place in the house in 1938 when it was all elegant and spiffed up and the second act in the house in 1978 when the documentary was filmed. Christine Ebersol won all sorts of

awards for her performance in this Broadway show. She plays the mother in the first act and in the second act the daughter now the same age as the mother was in the first act. It’s a brilliant concept. But here you have an all-over-the-place movie about 23 cats living in squalor, a philandering husband who, in 1938, is out of money, the Second World War looming, Jackie Kennedy (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn) showing up at Grey Gardens in a scene that is written not much better than soap opera, the young filmmakers making the documentary, some befuddled attempts by local health officials in 1978, raccoons eating garbage, Big Edie singing Cole Porter around the piano with her boyfriend in 1938 and I don’t know what else, flashbacked and flash forwarded all over the place. The (continued on page 24)

Dan's Papers May 1, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan's Papers May 1, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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