SELLER: Wally Pfister
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CCA
SIZE: 4,990 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: An unexpected but welcomed weekend missive from a fella we’ll call Ben A. Snitch let this property gossip know that Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister hoisted his modern-minded house in the Hollywood Hills on the open market with an asking price of $4,695,000.
Mister Pfister, in case any of the children don’t recognize his name, often works with three-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter/producer/director Christopher Nolan. Their often astronomically successful big screen collaborations include but are not limited to “The Prestige,” “The Dark Knight” franchise and “Inception,” all of which garnered Mister Pfister Oscar nods and the latter of which brought the 8.5 pound statuette home. Mister Pfister’s non-Nolan silver screen credits include “Laurel Canyon,” “Moneyball,” “The Italian Job” and the bio-doc “Marley.”
Mister Snitch told us and property records and other online resources confirm Mister Pfister and his long-time wife, Anna Julien, acquired the .65-acre, two-parcel property on the hillside border of the Nichols Canyon and Mount Olympus neighborhood in May 2006 for $2,275,000 from A-List DJ and record producer Paul Oakenfold who — in case anyone might be curious — had obtained the property four years earlier, in April 2002, for $1.26 million but, according to retired celebrity doyenne Ruth Ryon’s no longer digitally available 2006 report on the matter, never moved in.
Current digital marketing materials show the walled and gated residence — which once had a ticky-tacky, pseudo neo-Tuscan exterior with a red clay tile roof — has five bedrooms and five full and two half bathrooms in 4,990 square feet. Integrated, open plan living spaces on the main floor have warm, semi-glossy wood floors under reasonably high but somewhat unexpectedly flat ceilings and broad expanses of molding free walls broken up by over-sized windows and glass sliders. A minimalist-minded fireplace with floating hearth and simple rough-hewn wood beam mantel anchors one of the two seating areas in the lounge area while the clerestory windowed dining area peers over a waist-high glass railing into the stair well and lower entrance hall.
The sky-lit kitchen has both white lacquer and uniformly grained wood cabinetry as well as all the customary high-grade stainless steel appliances typically found in a five million dollar house and what appears to be a stainless steel counter top on the center island that incorporates a cook top and a three-stool snack counter. Glass doors in the kitchen open to a huge, slab stone tiled outdoor living and dining room with an exposed wood beam ceiling pierced by half a dozen skylights, a concrete outdoor fireplace and through-the-treetops canyon views.
In addition a professional-grade screening room with light-eating black walls and a whole lot of black leather sofas, the lower level includes an airy, double-height family room with crisp white walls, more honey blond wood floors and another minimalist fireplace, this one with floating floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side. A symmetrical trio of aluminum-framed glass doors topped by super-sized transoms lead out to a plunge-sized swimming pool and slightly elevated inset spa sunk into a sun-dappled stone tiled terrace that pushes out over the steep, sylvan slope below the house.
The master suite features a roomy but hardly huge bathroom with double sink floating vanity heated towel rack, a jetted soaking tub set at an angle in front of a picture window and a separate shower space. Sliding glass doors lead out to a semi-private deck with koi pond and convenient steps down to the swimming pool and sunbathing terrace. Additional features include a small fitness room and a self-contained guest/staff apartment atop the two-car garage, and a gated motor court.
We don’t have any 411 on where Mister and Missus Pfister plan to decamp once they shed their contemporary digs in the Hollywood Hills but Your Mama’s reasonably thorough but entirely unscientific delve in to digitally accessible resources indicates they picked up a 1.62-acre compound in increasingly affluent Ojai, CA, in May 2013 for $975,000.
Listing photos: John Aaroe Group