Friday, May 23, 2008

the pleasures of objects and spaces: aline bonetto

[This entry is not part of Film Club proper but is part of the Production Design Blog-A-Thon, which begins today and runs through May 25th. Please consider joining us with your own post on the topic.]

Production designer Aline Bonetto's collaboration with French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet began in 1991, when she worked as a set decorator on Delicatessen (still one of my all-time favorite movies). She returned as his set decorator in 1995 for City of Lost Children, and moved on to become his official production designer in 2001, with Amelie.

Amelie would present a challenge for any production designer, given that, at its core, it is a movie about the pleasures of objects and spaces. Even beyond this: the film repeatedly posits that your relationship to objects and spaces is, in fact, a central determinant of your character. And so the responsibility falls on the production designer to produce objects and spaces that can convincingly yield pleasure and reveal character.

It is to Ms. Bonetto's enormous credit that the film pulls this off: the spaces in the film are crammed with interesting things which delight the eye and help to establish mood and flavor. The costumes are great, too.

Screenshots can say this better than I can:

One more to go, this weekend.

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