The Furniture: 25 Years Trapped in Castle Dracula

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula turns 25 years old today. It is, appropriately, not dead. Not that a film can die, exactly, but this one has held onto its toothy vigor with particular success. Even the ridiculous way Keanu pronounces “Bewdapest” still charms. Eiko Ishioka’s Oscar-winning costumes seem simultaneously ancient and way ahead of their time. The same goes for the Oscar-winning makeup, which transforms Gary Oldman across centuries with bewildering commitment. The visual effects, which went unnominated, remain thrilling, a dizzying phantasmagoria of cinematic shadow-puppetry.

But I’m here to rave about the only nominated category that the film didn’t win. Production designer Thomas E. Sanders and art director Garrett Lewis were nominated, but they lost to Howards End. Hard to argue with that, of course.
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The Furniture: The Color of Beaches

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Beaches, despite its enormous and enduring cultural imprint, still retains some surprises. It’s not subtle at all, yet it also contains countless little details, both of performance and design. It’s a melodrama that rewards rewatching, not only for the ritual of crying along with a beloved tearjerker, but also for the charismatic density of its images. And so, heeding the call of Nathaniel’s obituary and reappraisal of Garry Marshall’s long career (and a comment from Craver), here’s a look at the Oscar-nominated production design of Beaches.

The color palette of the film is almost schematic. That’s not a slight against production designer Albert Brenner and set decorator Garrett Lewis, either. It works, this insistence on pinks and greens reaching its emotional pinnacle along with the characters.

To be sure, Oscar nomination is
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The Nostalgia Files: ‘Hook’ (1991)


Written by James V. Hart, Nick Castle, Malia Scotch Marmo, and J. M. Barrie

Directed by Steven Spielberg

USA, 1991

Steven Spielberg is known the world over for creating genuine movie magic. From his blockbuster splash Jaws in 1975 up until his 2012 biopic Lincoln, Spielberg is certainly a gifted filmmaker. Very few auteurs are still work today but Spielberg keeps banging out films that dazzle the senses and leave an everlasting impression on the viewer. However, some of Spielberg’s films haven’t achieved the recognition and respect they deserve. There are certain films that this movie master made that didn’t quite achieve a high status. One such film is 1991’s Hook, a fantasy adventure which didn’t really score well with critics but filled children of the 90s with joy, innocence, and wonder.

The film follows middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams), a bitter individual who has forgotten who he is.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Man Behind 'Hook,' 'Pretty Woman' Dies At 77

Man Behind 'Hook,' 'Pretty Woman' Dies At 77
Los Angeles — The set decorator who earned Oscar nominations for his work on "Beaches," "Glory," "Hook" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" has died.

A longtime friend of Garrett Lewis says he died Jan. 29 of natural causes. He was 77.

Wendy Weaver says Lewis worked as an actor on Broadway and in films and television before becoming a set decorator in the late 1970s. He appeared in "Hello, Dolly" on stage, "Funny Lady" on film and "The Julie Andrews Hour" on TV.

He became a set decorator after designing private homes for his celebrity friends and went on to work on 39 films, including "Pretty Woman," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Steel Magnolias."

Lewis is survived by his sister, Jane Peiker, and five nieces and nephews.
See full article at Huffington Post »

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