End Credits #44: Cinema's 2016 Lost Treasures Ken Adam
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2016 taken from my personal notes soon after the events took place:
Klaus Hugo Adam was born on February 5, 1921 in Berlin. He and his Jewish family fled to England before the war and settled in London. There he studied architecture and volunteered to fly for the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was one of only three German-born pilots allowed in the RAF. After the war, Adam began work as an assistant art director to veteran production designer William Cameron Menzies who advised his young prodigy to "forget your inhibitions and let yourself go." This is precisely the advice Mr. Adam appears to have taken onboard.
Now this magnificent creative talent for the motion picture industry has sadly been lost to us. British Production Designer Ken Adam whose daringly awesome set designs went beyond anything others could hardly conceive of, has died at age 95. One could watch the films he worked on, paying little or no attention to the background, like driving through the desolate landscape before coming upon Monument Valley, and be similarly dumbstruck by witnessing the sudden splendour of Ken Adam's bold and majestic creations. And so it would happen in film after film, these towering achievements, these sets of extraordinary vision and beauty would quietly surround the dramatic developments taking centre stage within them. When we look back, or see these Ken Adam films again, we can better marvel at his other-worldly surrounds, and perhaps further appreciate just how attributable his innovative and inspired grand designs were to enhancing that drama. His credits as Production Designer include such noteworthy achievements as Curse of the Demon, Sodom and Gomorrah, Dr. No, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Goldfinger, The Ipcress File, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Barry Lyndon, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The Madness of King George. Ken Adam (February 5, 1921 - March 10, 2016) R.I.P.