From the bizarre geometric carpeting in The Shining to the rug turned innocent victim in the Big Lebowski, there have been a plethora of rugs and carpets that have found an unexpected place of endearment in their respective films. Some, so much so that they almost feel like a character in the film. Be warned, this blog posting may have some spoilers in it.
In the Shinning (1980), there is an almost hypnotic, hexagonal carpet pattern dispersed throughout the entire hotel. This orange, brown, and burgundy carpet seems to repeat endlessly from hallway to hallway and is a constant source of dissonance and uneasiness. The carpet alone is enough to make you talk to your forefinger and maybe even put an axe through a bathroom door. In many ways, this well recognized pattern has become a sort of calling card for the film. In a creepy throwback reference in Toy Story (1995), this same carpet pattern can be seen in Sid, the sociopathic toy mutilator’s house. This pattern has infiltrated pop culture in the form of shirts, socks, pillow casings, etc. as a subtle yet creepy reference to one of, if not the greatest horror movies of all time.
In The Big Lebowski (1998), we see how important a rug can be. The right rug in the right room is worth fighting for. When thugs broke into the Dude’s apartment to collect a gambling debt incurred by another person by the same name, the Dude’s rug is urinated on to send a message. The Dude then seeks out the other Lebowski for reparations. I mean, that rug really tied the room together. The irony is that in the Dude’s apartment, there was not much to be tied together. The rug was just about all he had. But then again, it was all he needed. It was the Dude’s choice spot for listening to his Creedence Clearwater Revival tapes. His original rug may have been a dingy old rug, but it shows the connection a man makes with his rug. Beauty isn’t everything. That was his rug, man. He eventually gets another rug from the other Lebowski whom he was mistaken for. The new rug was a Kashan design oriental rug which, if his first rug tied the room together, this one did a lot more for him. Of course, his attachment to this rug was short lived as it was stolen from him by the other Lebowski’s ex-wife. Protect your rugs, fellas. There is nothing like some “unchecked aggression” to throw off the décor of your entire living room.
How can you talk about rugs in movies without talking about Aladdin (1992) and his personified flying carpet? No matter how great you think your rug is, it will never fly and provide comedic breaks at the same time. Aladdin’s flying rug not only helped save his life in the collapsing cave it also gave his fraudulent Prince shtick credibility. If someone had a flying rug…would you question anything they did? I wouldn’t. Not to mention, a smokin’ hot princess totally fell in love with him in, like, no time at all. That is effective. What can only be assumed to be a Persian rug, not much else is known about this sentient floor decoration. Sure, a great rug is unlikely to make princesses fall in love with you or allow you to develop elaborate cons where people believe you are royalty, but why not give it a shot? There are some rug makers who have recreated the magic carpet; however it is unlikely to interact with you, let alone fly.
American Psycho (2000) features many beautiful, modern interiors. Patrick Bateman might be a little…eccentric…but the man, if nothing else, has taste and is obsessed with status. Patrick’s emotions and murderous tendencies can get away from but he never loses sight of his style. This is particularly prevalent in the scene when Patrick takes Paul Allen out to a restaurant called Texarkana. You see, Paul Allen got a reservation at Dorsia on a Friday night, how did he pull that? And Paul Allen’s business card is more tasteful than Patrick’s…that subtle off-white coloring…the tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark. But I digress. Patrick takes Paul out to dinner and got Paul rather drunk. Upon returning to Patrick’s cold, white minimalist apartment with stainless steel kitchen appliances and bare wood floors, there are copies of the newspaper’s style section meticulously set up as a rug. A bold choice in this New York high rise apartment. The newspaper rug elegantly blends with the high contrast black/white décor. It is also a very functional rug choice in that the contents of Paul Allen’s head did not make a mess of Patrick’s apartment when Patrick took the axe to Paul Allen’s face. Let’s see you get a reservation at Dorsia now.
We have talked about what people will go through to get a kidnapped rug back and how the right rug can get you a princess…but what happens when the rug is simply beyond salvage? In American Horror Story, the coven’s rug took a pretty rough hit when Fiona, the current Supreme witch, cut the throat of her suspected successor, Madison. The rug that looked so nice in the corner under the piano did not stand a chance. Fiona cut Madison’s throat right there and Madison feel onto the rug. And of course it could not be a dark colored traditional rug with an intricate pattern that could have disguised the stain; it had to be a light colored flat weave rug that is just ruined. Fiona, despite just murdering someone, managed to keep her priorities straight when she emphatically said, “This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug.” If you are in the market for a new rug like Fiona (hopefully for decorative purposes and not murderous ones), PlushRugs.com is sure to have what you need. But just so you know…we don’t ask questions…
Rugs and carpets can be very important, whether they are simply decoration for a hotel that causes mental derangement, something you are willing to fight for, a way to trick a princess into loving you, or a means of keeping your pristine apartment clean when you get a little axe-happy with a Pierce & Pierce co-worker. Never under estimate the power of a rug that can really tie a room together. Please share our post to educate your friends about rugs in pop culture.