Production Design Story #2 - Expressionism Cinema
Inspired by the bold Expressionism cinema and Film Noir genre, Morgane Avéus designed her latest interior design project for this retail boutique, showcasing some of her own furniture pieces too.
Diving into the very rich aesthetic of the german Expressionism cinema that emerged in the 1920’s, the project uses its aesthetic codes and mise- en-scene techniques to create a decor-like environment for the store.
When Expressionism cinema and Film Noir first developed in Germany and later in the United States, the movement drastically created new ways to make movies, using new narrating plots and decor, unlike any- thing that had come before in film.
Mini Console + Mirror
Steel, Stone and mirror
The ambient turmoil of the genre and the agitated mind of its characters are the starting point that gives to the movement its visual expression, where the environment is an external manifestation of unpleasant internal feelings. More simply put, Expressionism is a language of subjectivity projected outward.
Morgane wanted to explore a way to translate architecturally and visually an environment that seems off balanced, crooked and unreal, as if the decor was a physical expression of an overwhelming anxiety feeling.
In this interior, the markers of scale are confusing, the light is exclusively artificial and highly contrasted, the surfaces are slanted, and the colour palette is very dark and muted. Just like a tormented mind can be, the decor appears in constant conflict and almost forcing itself on the users of the space.
In the main area, multiple versions of the same armchair are random- ly displayed on the on the wall-to- floor platform.
Very few clothing pieces are hung from the ceiling and seem to float around like ghosts.
The central double level ‘Omen’ chandelier is the only source of light and adds a hint of classical design to the scene, with its bare electric cords hanging towards each shade.
LL Armchair, Omen Chandelier
This area is built like a stage where handbags are displayed between slanted walls and gi- gantic curtains.
The spotlight on one of the ‘An- chor’ chair in contrast to the darkness of the scene, brings a strong sense of stupor and dra- ma to it.
Monument Set Table
Widely based on Metropolis (Fritz Lang), this corner of the space has been built as an homage to the famous decor of the movie.
Along with the backgroud el- ements and the shoes, the ‘Monument’ table made of 3 repetitive volumes, blurs the perception of the scale bring- ing strangeness to the whole setup.
The composition of this last setup works as a misleading trompe-l’oeil, combining printed mu- rals and built up frames.
The main character
of this scene is the self-standing mirror, also working as a trom- pe-l’oeil in itself, and returning an ambiguous reflexion.
Trompe L'oeil Mirror