If you think about science fiction films and screen plays, what thoughts and images immediately spring to mind? We’d hazard a guess at time travel, the space/time continuum and possibly super powers. We’d probably also throw unfathomable plots and suspended belief into the mix too. What you probably wouldn’t imagine are chesterfield sofas. After all, why would you? What’s a traditional chesterfield sofa got to do time travel or parallel universes? Well, probably more than you might at first think, judging by a couple of films on the TV over the weekend, and past experience. Granted a couple of the films made no sense and left us baffled and confused, but we can at least take comfort from the fact that whilst directors and writers may have a skewed view on what the future holds for us all, they still see a place for chesterfield furniture. That for us isn’t all that surprising as we’ve always believed these classic pieces of furniture have longevity.
So, who first made the leap of faith that tied science fiction and chesterfield sofas together inextricably? We’d guess Douglas Adams with the Hitchhiker’s Guide and the time-travelling chesterfield settee. If anyone’s to blame, it’s him. He started the trend, and others have since jumped on the bandwagon. The X Men films feature a chesterfield settee prominently, as does Doctor Who in its various incarnations.
Vanilla Sky, staring Tom Cruise was on the box on Saturday and also featured not just a chesterfield sofa, but a couple of chesterfield tub chairs and other chesterfield-inspired furniture throughout the course of the film. What is was actually about is still a bit of a mystery, save that it involved a parallel universe and duel existences. Well, that’s the way it seemed to play out anyway. The only constant throughout the film as it switched from the present to the future and then sideways into an unspecified era, was Tom Cruise’s top-end apartment set in the heart of Manhattan. As a spoiled, rich man who’d inherited a fortune from his father, you’d expect him to have the best that money could buy, and sure enough, he did: there were Monet and Degas paintings on the walls and priceless artefacts from the past and the present, including an encased broken Hendrix guitar. Most pleasing of all from our point of view were the traditional chesterfield sofas and the tub chairs. What ever universe Tom Cruise actually lived in, at least he had impeccable taste in our opinion.
The Christopher Nolan film Inception was also showing, and we’re pleased to say also starred a chesterfield sofa and one or two pieces of chesterfield-inspired furniture. What was that about? We’ve no idea. It involved the world of dreams and global travel and lots of explosions and strange plot twists, but other than that we couldn’t really say. If your idea of an entertaining film is coming out of the cinema intellectually challenged but with an aching brain, then this is definitely the film for you. The only thing we would say is keep an eye out for the chesterfield sofa and, if you’d be so kind, send us a plot summary which might explain what it was actually was all about.