A brief Look at the Faux Exposed Timber Framework Buildings in Lolita

Go to Table of Contents of the analysis (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).


Because Kubrick disguises the timber framework of the Haze household in Lolita, I wanted to take a brief look at the few exposed timber framework buildings shown in the film.

Lolita

Our first glimpse of exposed timber framework is a house in shot 68, which follows the establishing shots of 66 (train) and 67 (what is Dover), and precedes shot 69 of the taxi driving Humbert from the train station. With shot 68 we have Humbert telling us he had gone to the resort town of Ramsdale. I have circled in red the single exposed timber framework house shown.

In shot 71 the taxi delivers us to the Haze household, address number 242. We also see it in shot 180 when Charlotte is driving Lolita away to camp.

Lolita

What is being disguised from us in the two shots of the house is that this is actually an exposed timber framework house, and I bet you anything that Kubrick had the exposed timber painted over for the shooting of the film.

The real description, as per a conservation analysis of the area, would be "Tudorbethan style with applied half-timbering as decoration".

This seems to be the natural appearance of the location, the Highburgh House on Packhorse Road in Chalfont, St. Peter, Buckihghamshire, in the area of Gerrard's Cross.

Lolita

Lolita

As you can see, exposed timber frame is what this neighborhood is about.

Obviously, the faux-Tudor in the establishing shot ot Ramsdale is meant to link to the Tudorbethan Haze household, and yet Kubrick covers over the decorative timbers.

The Tudorbethan style Haze household, number 242, obviously links with the exposed timbers of the Enchanted Hunters Hotel where they stay in room 242.

Lolita

There are no other buildings with this decoration in the film. The next we encounter such is in A Clockwork Orange where Alex makes his suicide leap from a building with exposed timber decoration.

A Clockwork Orange - The dive


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