Awhile back I wrote this post reuniting my love for movies and interior, and it certainly had me craving for more. There’s something really satisfying about analyzing the design of a movie and translating it to 2015. To me, at least, I guess I’m just nerdy like that. Because it can’t be all Wes Anderson all the time (can it?), I thought I’d focus on one of my other favorite directors of all time: Baz Luhrmann. And the movie that made me fall in love with his work and Leonardo DiCaprio as a pre-teen: Romeo + Juliet.
I’m probably going to make some of you (and myself) feel very old pointing out this particular masterpiece will celebrate its 20th birthday next year. I’ve always been a fan of the modern day shakespeare interpretation, and as a teenager I must have watched it a million times. I watched it so much started developing an interest for all things Shakespeare at the time and I still know the script by heart. (Who ever said TV is bad for kids?)
This particular world Luhrmann created enchanted me because of its tragic story on one hand, but what struck me most was the visual beauty. A world like none I had ever seen on my cherished small screen. The drama, colors, the details, the kitsch. I could not get enough.
Let’s have a look at the wonderful job done by set decorator Brigitte Broch, art director Doug Hardwick and last but not least production designer Catherine Martin. If you’re not familiar with Catherine Martin, do look her up. She’s Luhrmann’s multitalented wife and longtime collaborator, and I absolutely adore her work.
1. Play with light.
What better to set a romantic mood than candlelight, warm sunlight, morning light? This movie takes it to the next level with neon, more candles than you can count and even a lit up fishtank, yes. Best not to go as overboard with the candles like in the end sequence. Quite the fire hazard.
2. Old world charm.
Although the city of Verona in this tale is far from Italian, we do encounter many things that remind of Italian opulence In the house of Capulet and the church scenes. From the classic furniture to the marble statues and the kitschy fishtank.
3. Religious iconography.
Maybe closely interlaced with the Italian theme, but the religious icons are everywhere in this movie. My favourite being Tybalt’s vest.
4. Miami meets Mexico.
As I said before, this version of fair Verona doesn’t really resemble Italy that much. It did always remind me of images of Mexico city and Miami. The colors, the cars, the details. When I started looking into this, I discovered I was on the right track, most of the movie was shot in Mexico City and Veracruz.
5. Colour & material inspiration:
Shades of blue //White linnen //Italian marble for an old world touch //blood red// Yellow //Paper
1. Teal pillow & Velvet yellow pillow// 2. Sage chair // 3.Vintage virgin Mary //4. Tin hearts// 5. Dyptique candle // 6. Jewelry box // 7. Vintage rug // 8. Modern marble lamp // 9. gold mirror // 10. Palm houseplant for a tropical vibe// 11. Neon sign (for example here)
All images (c) 20th Century Fox
P.S.: If you’re not quite satisfied yet, do watch this video in which Baz looks back on the making of Romeo + Juliet and tells the reporter why he owes Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli a bottle of champagne!