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Hey what do you know, another movie from the 90s. Maybe now is a good time to tell you it is my favourite decade…MARC JACOBS, GRUNGE, Hole, Courtney Love throwing Chanel compacts at Madonna at MTV awards, riot grrrl, Soundgarden, Spice Girls, A Tribe Called Quest, Friends, Selena!, Cartoon Network (Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuffs, Johnny Bravo), Goosebumps books, SWEET VALLEY HIGH BOOKS!, Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Super Nintendo, space-cases, OK ENOUGH!

Writer + Director: Tamara Jenkins

Production Designer: Dena Roth

Art Director: Scott Plauche

Budget: $5 million

79% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes but I thought it was meh. Good elements to have made it a really good Ghost World or something similar but I didn’t find it engaging enough. The sets looked really good though. It’s set in 1976 (though it took me quite a while to realise this,oops) in Los Angeles, California. Most of the interiors seem to have been built in a studio…(click for enlarged images)

At first the family live in a small flat that looks like this from the outside:

A very cheap 1 bedroom flat (yes, that’s a dead cat he’s holding)

They then upgrade to this:

A 3 bedroom w/lift and pool. Notice the great yellow monster munch carpet. The abundant yellow really makes a difference as well as the 70s patterned sofa. Soft, round, no hard edges, few straight lines.

Dining area: (Action props: 70s milk and cereal cartons) Looks lived in without having much stuff.

Dad’s bedroom:

Lucille Bluth’s home: (well, Jessica Walter’s character) Abundant murky tones of green, furry carpets, softer lighting…

Plastic surgeon’s office. This scene is less than 2 minutes long but apparently it was cheaper to build this room than to find it!

…seen a guy dip a TAMPON in KOOL-AID and then SUCK on it?

Well. Now I can say I’ve had the pleasure. RIGHT LARRY CLARK!?

SO, I watched Kids finally. I enjoyed it. It’s amazing how nothing much has changed in the way teens hang out/waste air in the past 20 years. I mean, I’m not 17 and smoking weed at school recess (not anymore) but the way all the characters interacted with each other seemed so realistic.

I’d love it it were actually true guys sniff each other’s hands for pussy. Is that part of bro-mance too? (I’m talking to you Judd Apatow.)

I was going to take stills for the production design but it seems to me it was all on location so basically a lot of set dressing, turning the place run down/dirty/messy (which is always harder than making a place look neat). It all takes place in New York in a couple of apartments belonging to lower-middle class kids (one is taken over and resembles a squat house). Lots of exteriors: central park, new york streets, one private swimming pool…It was the 3rd film as production designer for Kevin Thompson (worked as Art Director just once) who has gone on to work in films such as Duplicity, Michael Clayton and Igby Goes Down (will dedicate a post to this one def!).

Director: Larry Clark

Production Designer: Kevin Thompson

Budget: $1.5 million

“Yo man don’t you know pussy has no face?”

First up of course, Jimbo’s Pocahontas re-make. Cats in Space. Whatever you want to call it. Which we can ALL agree was tots amazing.

Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

“Well, I like Star Wars. And I like masturbating to old copies of National Geographic. If only there were some way for me to combine these interests!”

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith

“There’s no doubt that the imaginary world [Gilliam has] created is awe-inspiring, but it’s ultimately designed for an art house audience.” BBC

I’m not a fan of 3D/CG-heavy films. Unlike my flatmate who is certain this is THE future of film-making. I just find it really soul-less a lot of the time. Which is why Avatard was so fresh/awesome…

Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

“Welcome to the Pussycat Dolls Do Italy. If we wanted to see a middle-aged has-been drooling over an Ann Summers live show, we’d stalk Peter Stringfellow.” Film 4

Not good, looked great. Personally, Penny Cruz in Agent Provocateur was the best thing about it. But I am in love with her…

Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

I can’t explain why I have NO desire whatsoever to see this. And I LOVED Snatch. Believe me, my brother and I would quote from it religiously…WHYTHEFUCK DO I WANNACARAVAN THAS GOT NO FACKIN WHEELS!?

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Pipes.

The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

“I spent an hour and three-quarters waiting for this movie to start.” Peter Bradshaw

You could not DRAG me to see this. WHY OH WHY do they keep making these princess movies. I just CANT relate.

Funny how the most interesting/funny articles are the most negative/scathing ones. In the wise words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: “the bad stuff is easier to believe.” Must read: Peter Bradshaw’s (the Guardian) for Trannyformers 2: Revenge of Michael Bay (“I found it at once loud and boring, like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan“).

Embarrassingly, I have only seen 2 of these films and though Nine had a cleverly constructed set within a set, I suspect Avatar might win just because, you know, it’s Avatar…I don’t know enough about 3D but a lot of people have agreed it’s pretty groundbreaking stuff and they might just chuck it to them because obviously a lot of work went into it…THEN AGAIN, the academy LOVES period pieces (and The Young Victoria is also nominated for COSTUME) so they might just, ‘throw the dog a bone’ but WE’LL SEE WON”T WE!

My money is on Return of the Smurfs…

Director: Phil Morrison

Production Designer: David Doernberg

Budget: $1 million

The film takes place mostly in a home in middle class middle America. The family although quirky, has simple taste and I think the house manages to reflect this. “For the house in which most of the film takes place, two real houses in Winston-Salem were used, one for internal shots and another for external ones. Filming was simplified by the fact that the two houses were down the street from each other. The same house that was used for the external shots was also used for the basement/garage scenes.” (imdb)

the living room (the balloons were for the baby shower)

the parents bedroom

I’m a film student. I live in London. I like Production Design.

This is my blog.

Enjoy…