frescadp: (Hutch & Starsky)
[personal profile] frescadp
I'm enjoying paying attention to the 1970s backdrop of Starsky and Hutch, like I enjoyed finding the 1960s design influences in Star Trek.
But of course, S&H is set on Earth––the Earth of my teenage years, so I recognize some of the props.
Curious about how they'd dressed the set for Hutch's home, I slowed and rewatched a scene of it.
That fuzzy poster on the wall. [Recognize it?] Is that, could that be....


Sure enough.
It's "In Bed" (1893)--one of a series of paintings Toulouse-Lautrec did of two women lovers who worked as prostitutes in Paris:


And in the shadowy room behind Hutch is what looks like a Toulouse-Lautrec poster. T-L created art to be posters, so it makes sense they were popular on 1970s walls, as were Alphonse Mucha's posters.

I wonder if college-age people still put them up?

"In Bed" is sort of an odd choice, but I imagine it's not meant to signify much--this was, after all, long before viewers could freeze-frame video-- except to reflect that Hutch went to college, an accomplishment he lords over Starsky in one scene. (Did he study art history?)

Some fans say Hutch is the son of a doctor or lawyer, but upper-middle class people don't brag about going to college. Of course you go to college.

Having just returned from Duluth, I suspect Hutch is a Hillsider--someone who grew up in the working-class hillside neighborhoods, the ones that take the brunt of Lake Superior winds, where you have to push the lawnmower up and down a slanted lawn.
Maybe Hutch could watch from his bedroom window ocean-going ships pass under the aerial lift bridge. 


Painting above, "Over Duluth", by Brian Stewart

I learned the term "hillsider" from the title of the autobiography of current young mayor (40 when he took office), Don Ness:
Hillsider: Snapshots of a Curious Political Journey.

It's set-dressed with photos and art, like a really cool website.
The center quote of the "Craft Beer Capitol" spread reads:
Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.  ––Charles de Gaulle

Duluth reminds me of that other inland port city, Portland, OR, but seedier still, and with far less hipsters. Maybe like Portland was pre-1990s?

Ness is kind of a hipster--he could definitely be a character in Portlandia, like the former mayor of Portland, Sam Adams [real name] who appears on the show as an aide to the fictional mayor played by Kyle MacLachlan (from Twin Peaks):



*SET DRESSER, from Film Connection
"The set dresser on a movie is responsible for making the location of every scene look convincing. This may sound easy, but in the magical (i.e. fake) world of movies, this can mean turning a dilapidated warehouse into a swinging 1960s nightclub, or a sunny California bungalow into a "snow"-covered French cottage. One of the set dresser's primary responsibilities is to select the props that will decorate every scene. If it's a period film, it's especially important to be historically accurate, often down to the year that any given product came on the market. (Found a great vintage coffee pot that came out in 1965, but your movie takes place in 1964? Dump it–or face the online wrath of eagle-eyed movie-goers everywhere.)"

Date: 2015-10-23 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] duluthgirl.livejournal.com
Okay, you freaked me out with this post. When I grew up in Duluth, our first house was in the hillside neighborhoods. Later we moved to a place near Lester Park, which was still working class but a little nicer. Some of those neighborhoods around...is it Lake St?...are pretty seedy indeed. I have to say, though, I totally think you hit on something I had never considered - Hutch an art major!!! Him bragging about college, the art in his place. Man, you got me thinking!


And I swear I almost started shaking when you showed what the poster was in his room. Yeah, maybe not meant to be significant, but in so many ways it is! Hutch has a history with prostitutes for one, and of course there are the slash images. I feel like you have opened an entirely new door to me!

Date: 2015-10-23 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
I'm really pleased that you think I'm onto something here.
I'm new to S&H so I'm really just feeling my way, trying to figure out where Hutch is coming from--
geographically, i.e., Duluth, but also psychologically---so it was interesting to hear that he has a history with prostitutes> (I haven't watched enough episodes yet to know that).
Thanks for your input!

Date: 2015-10-23 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] duluthgirl.livejournal.com
And btw, that painting of Duluth makes me so homesick. :(

Date: 2015-10-23 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
It's really sweet, isn't it?
I walked through that neighborhood---I;ve gotta say, though, those steep downhills are a bit hard on the knees!

Date: 2015-10-24 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] duluthgirl.livejournal.com
Make sure this post is public, because I reposted a link! :)

Date: 2015-10-24 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] matsir.livejournal.com
Hi, Fresca. I'm still fairly new to S&H, too. Connecting with DuluthGirl is probably the best thing you could have done.
I thought all colleges required you to take something like art history or art appreciation? (I did and I was a business major. Personally, I learned more talking to artists at SF Cons than in the classroom)
I'd love to read any story you'd write with your theories. Or you could post a prompt on the S&H Fan Community or S&H 911? It could be Hutch; there's a story/reason/memory behind that poster. We have some very imaginative members!
And DG, thanks for reposting.
BTW, I live in Portland, OR.

Date: 2015-10-24 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] duluthgirl.livejournal.com
Great idea, matsir, mentioning the LJ communities. I think that would be a really fun prompt idea. Fresca, if you are comfortable posting there, you should! New members add so many new ideas!

Date: 2015-11-03 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
Thanks Matsir and DG for the idea---I don't write fic myself and am not really ready to jump into prompts and all that---but please go ahead yourselves if you like.

Another S/H fan--the one who got me into S& H in the first place-- suggested the prompt of Hutch taking Starsky to an art museum---that could be really funny too.

Date: 2015-10-24 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ride-4ever.livejournal.com
Here on a rec from [livejournal.com profile] duluthgirl. I enjoyed your post.

Date: 2015-11-03 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
Thanks for commenting, Ride!

Date: 2015-10-24 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nickygabriel
Very interesting post! I like to learn things about the show that I didn't know before :)

Date: 2015-11-03 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
Me too!

Date: 2015-10-24 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taass64.livejournal.com
Very, very interesting post! And DG is right, you have really opened doors to a fresh way of thinking about Hutch. I'm not sure I entirely bought into the fanon background we've had for Hutch anyway. But I hadn't come up with my own interpretations in any solid way. I'm really pondering this now, because given Hutch's general personality and the canon we have, an artsy type background really does make sense.

Date: 2015-11-03 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frescadp.livejournal.com
Thanks for letting me know, Taass.
I'm still only in the first season of S&H, and looking for clues to interpret Hutch as I go along. Like, I saw he had a copy of Nabokov's _Lolita_ in his house... Curious!
(Sorry I didn't reply sooner---I'm not on LJ very much.)
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