Production design and the design aesthetics – Amelie

Amélie (also known as Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain; English: The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The production design was done by Aline Bonetto, Set decoration by Marie-Laure Valla,  Art Directed by Volker Shaffer.

Amélie is like a French graphic novel come to life. All the scenes drip with color. You know how every film these days is orange and blue? Well, Amélie comes close with its orange and green color palette, but it’s all so warm and welcoming that we don’t care.

The patterns in the wallpapers were so aesthetically placed that subtly adds beauty to the frames without actually distracting the audience’s focus.

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I personally found that sex shop be very interesting. There were tons of disks arranged properly in the racks decorated by linear neon lights. The vast availability of content gives a dynamic feel in the long shots and those neon lights act were useful in the close up shots to direct the audience towards the character.

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The whole mood of the film itself was very quirky, comical and dreamy. The paintings and the other artworks used in the film adds up to establish the mood. Especially in this train station, those paintings look abstract, colorful and doesn’t really convey any important message directly. Some can argue and interpret the meaning for those paintings. But, i just feel like they were used as an asset to tell the film’s mood.

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Another interesting thing about this train station is that there are lot of beautifully framed shots to establish the vastness of the station. The frames were sometimes symmetrical and sometimes, had long lines of action show the broad, stretched out space.

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Most of all, this is a female centered film. Thus, the production design was also made in such a way it depicts feminine interests and qualities. Either it be the small window where Amelie had her small plant, that tiny vegetable shop, her bed, all the tiny assets used in the house etc, they all felt like making justice to the lead character’s personality.

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As a designer, i can say Amelie is one of the few movies that are beautifully constructed to bring out the characteristics of the lead character by using the well designed sets, props, make ups and costumes.

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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