Instead of my usual Friday’s Breathing Space, I thought I’d dedicate some some space to the upcoming Academy Awards this Sunday. There have been some really fantastic films out recently, and I’m always glad that an Oscar is awarded for set design. I feel that it’s a very important area that is often and very easily forgotten, without setting a scene a film would obviously be very poor visually!
The Artist is a sumptuous homage to old Hollywood, filmed (mostly) in black and white and set in the late 1920s during the twilight of silent films. This whole film is wonderfully styled, and it replicates the age of Art Deco beautifully with spot on period furnishings and accessories. Bennett notes that Gould “revelled in the chance to find unusual things”, from the 3 monkey statues to the various props used throughout. How divine is the satin shirred headboard in Peppy’s guest bedroom? Shooting in black and white was “liberating” says Bennett, as “taking away the colour tools, we had to pay attention to lighting and shadows, contrasts, pattern, textures and lustre.” One should always pay attention to these things!
1. Cascade Wall Light 2. The Odeon 3. Deco Tub Chair 4. Nereid Dressing Table 5. Muran Sommerso Glass Vase
From the Gothic inspired Hogwarts to the scallop shelled beach house of the Weasley’s and down into the vaults of Gringotts bank, McMillan and Craig had their work cut out for them. They used a combination of physical models and digital constructions to create the magical world (whether you like it or not!) of Harry Potter.
Hugo is the story of a young boy who lives in a Parisian train station, which is where the centrepiece of the film is set, reminiscent of the 1930s Gare Montparnasse. Ferretti and his wife, set decorator Lo Schiavo, filled out the station with meticulously designed shops, flower carts, and a café.
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s paean to the city of love, with Owen Wilson’s midnight wanderings around the city turning into magical meetings with 1920s literary greats. The film features both contemporary and period settings, re-creating apartments and salons with early Parisian colour palettes. Apparently they used specialist lightbulbs imported from Germany to create soft coloured and golden tones enhancing the Art Nouveau scenes.
Can you spot a trend this year?!?
With a colour palette straight from the Devon moors, set locations in Wiltshire and Surrey and the French farmhouse of young Emilie, War Horse gives a true depiction of Europe during the First World War.
I’m sure you can guess which film set I’m hoping will win. Which set do you think should win? Or is there another film you’d like to have seen nominated?
Posted on February 24th, 2012