Decided to take on a slightly different challenge for this assignment. As in the coming years, I would like to develop more on moving images that are visually impactful (hopefully). That made me wonder whether great film directors follow similar visual design principles when they're directing a scene or not. So I started a small investigation on this inquiry.
I've always loved Antonioni's films that I've seen, the mood of them lingers with me days after I've seen it. I often don't know how to describe the beauty of his works to people, as the stories and dialogue could be so subtle, but I always remember particular scenes in every movie. So I decided to study Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 film Red Desert, as Red Desert was Antonioni's first color film, it “is renowned for stunningly colored industrial landscapes which express the unease, alienation, and vivid perceptions of the main character”.
I've taken 5 screenshots of the film, analyzing them each individually and also collectively as a collective design.
THE USE OF COLOR
Below is the summary of the main colors of five important scenes in Red Desert. Looking at the fives scenes as one collective, it is quite obvious they share the same palette, dancing under a consistent mood - soft, dreamy yet cold.
THE COMPOSITION + HIERARCHY
Overlaying grids on the scenes, the results came out that each of the scene followed a grid system to form a visual harmony.
In Antonioni's films, scenes are composed of minimal set elements, so you see a lot of "negative space" around the characters, which gives the audience focused information.
A focus on the protagonist - Giuliana is placed at obvious positions, so the audience can always know what she is doing, feeling at that moment. When she was lost in her loneliness and isolation, you see her walking into the distant back with her back towards the camera.
Although film does not particularly fit into the graphic design category, surprisingly yet not surprisingly, after analyzing the composition of scenes in Red Desert with the grid system, every scene is as almost beautifully and precisely composed as a poster, with a carefully choreographed positioning of actors and objects. At the same time, the colors of these scenes share an ubiquitous mood that is soft, dreamy yet cold.
Below is an adoption of the Red Desert in Miu Miu 2013 Spring Summer campaign. Photographer Inez & Vindooh took design elements from the scenes that happened in the red room and created a world for Miu Miu.