F+A_Cinema in Section

Following on from the previous post about Wes Anderson, I thought it was worth doing an individual post about the use of sets in his work. The meticulous design of each set in his films is key to our understanding of the characters, of their relationships and the narrative of the places in which they inhabit. Anderson enjoys panning across horizontally, following his characters across space and in this way his sets are usually understood and built in section. 

This spatial quality to the films has led a lot of artists to develop illustrations describing the narrative of the sets, which are often domestic settings as Anderson’s films normally follow the story of a dysfunctional family. The quality of the sets and the cinematic shots of the films can be seen in these illustrations which can often be incredibly detailed and accurate due to the obsessive nature in which Anderson specifies the design of his sets before production. From the architectural section displaying the volume of the different rooms to the designs of wallpaper, furniture and wardrobes the illustrations below show that the setting for Anderson is as much a character as the people in the story.

Bottle Rocket and Royal Tenenbaums poster by Kevin Tong

Royal Tenenbaums section sketch taken from the ‘Bad Dads’ gallery

Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr Fox and Life Aquatic  Section Illustrations by Jennifer Lewis

F+A_Costume as Character with Wes Anderson

The hotly anticipated ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ by Wes Anderson was released in the UK on Friday, and I was lucky enough to get to see it at the Barbican, which was lit up nicely in the chosen colour palette for this film (red, pink and purple).

Anderson’s films have moved into a more popular cinema culture since the success of Moonrise Kingdom a few years ago but that is not to say his films have become more commercial and less ‘Wes’. I love his films because of the obvious care and attention he pays to the colour, composition, characterisation and costume. In his films the costumes play and say as much about their characters as the actors themselves, with each film the costumes chosen convey beautifully the stories behind the characters that wear them, we are able to put the film, the characters and the storyline in the context of the costume.

F+A_Automaton x Fashion

Man invented the automaton but in doing so began to blur the lines between man and machine, we put aspects of ourselves into the designs of automaton and thus we see aspects of humanity in them. In Hans Bellmer’s Poupee sculptures and photographs we see the disturbing side to the loss of a distinction, he deforms the human body into something that is at once recognisable yet unsettling. With fashion photographer Tim Walker we are reminded of the hopeful and beautiful quality to the idea of man as creator and inventor, the puppet as something fully controlled and designed by man. Walker’s dolls are empty of life until we give the a story to play out, whereas Bellmer’s dolls appear to have had the life taken away from them. 

F+A_Teige x Typography

In the 20th century the truly modern artist was designer/ poet/ architect/ photographer/ theorist and Karel Teige was no exception to this. In 1926 alongside dancer Milca Mayerová he composed an architectural typeset using the human form as the base for an alphabet-ballet. The czech constructivist abstracted the human form into language and symbols, blurring the lines between man and man made notions such as the machine which was typical of the approach to art and design in this industrial age.