At last, we’ve got a full set of images for Billy Wilder’s iconic 1950 noir, SUNSET BOULEVARD. The film won the Oscars for Screenplay, Art Direction, and Score, and was nominated for 8 more including Cinematography (by John F. Seitz). Wilder establishes a singularly haunting vision of Hollywood stardom here, both its intoxicating nature and the insidious fantasies that can follow in its wake. More specifically, the film serves as a sterling example of how art direction can serve as a direct extension of character and greatly enhance a performance. Norma Desmond’s palatial mansion is like a snapshot of baroque Gilded Age Hollywood design, sealed off from the passage of time, like a physical manifestation of Desmond’s own deluded mind.
We’ve also added the 2002 crime thriller INFERNAL AFFAIRS, directed by Hong Kong legend Andrew Lau and Alan Mak and shot by Lau himself along with Yiu Fai Lai. While the film was a critical and commercial success internationally, many Westerners may still be more familiar with its Oscar-winning American remake: The Departed. In addition to its bold and dynamic wide angle cinematography, the film is visually notable for its cool almost metallic color palette. Lau, an accomplished cinematographer in his own right, collaborated with frequent Wong Kar-wai cinematographer Christopher Doyle in pre-production on developing a specific color grading process that would ensure Lau maintained the look he wanted even during unpredictable & fast-moving exterior location shoots.
Then we have a great selection of images from last year’s adaption of the classic novel LITTLE WOMEN, directed by Greta Gerwig and shot by Yorick Le Saux. The film was nominated for 7 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Costume Design (for Jacqueline Durran). Shot on 35mm, Little Women features a wide pallet of gorgeous saturated colors and gently diffused highlights. The warm, low-light interiors throughout are especially evocative and some of our favorite images in any recent period film. Even if you aren’t looking for period styling, this is a great reference for any project seeking to capture an expressive visual tone of young romance and nostalgia.
And last but certainly not least, we’ve added more than 200 new images for WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, the original 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel starring the inimitable Gene Wilder in his most famous role. You don’t see this movie come up very often as a point of visual reference for modern filmmakers, but we encourage you all to take another look through these images (shot by Arthur Ibbetson), especially if you haven’t seen the film since you were young. From the bold accents of bright red, green and purple, to the wildly inventive production design of the factory itself, this film could be a unique resource for visual inspiration. And if there hasn’t been a music video or commercial inspired by the design of the Wonka TV room or the tunnel boat ride scene yet, one of y’all better get on that.