Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sixties Redux: A Single Man

Yet another visit to the sixties comes to theaters December 11th (limited release) with the debut of A Single Man (Weinstein Company). Set in early sixties Los Angeles at the height of the Cuban missle crisis, the film follows a day in the life of George Falconer (played by Colin Firth), a British college professor who is dealing with the death of his long-time companion. Julianne Moore plays his close friend and London socialite Charley who helps him through the ordeal (and longs to return to a tryst the two shared years ago).

Based on the Christopher Isherwood's cult classic, the film marks the directorial debut of fashion designer and creative director Tom Ford. The leap from fashion to film has certainly been a success for the "God of Gucci" as the film is garnering alot of Oscar buzz since its debut at the Venice Film Festival. And what Ford has done for Gucci will no doubt be reflected in his use of color, minimalism, light and the design of the film.

The style of the sixties have been beautifully captured by none other than Dan Bishop, production designer of the highly stylized Mad Men (and who better?). Firth's character George lives in a Neura-style glass house filled with perfectionism, designer suits, wood panelling and modern furniture. Moore's Charley is total sixties glam from her heavy eyeliner, pastel lipstick and "updo" hairstyles to Oscar nominated Arianne Phillip's Mod costumes (she was nominated for Walk the Line and was a long time stylist for Madonna).

Ford had much input on not only the film's direction but the overall look as well as Moore explains, "From the clothes to the soft furnishings, Tom was very passionate about what you want from a director. George's life was reflected in the modern but conservative furniture in his house and my room was exactly how I imagined Charley's would be. Tom's a guy who looks at the whole picture." And while the film looks expensive, the production and costume designs were done on a budget as Ford painted all the paintings in George's house himself and many of the costumes were vintage.

Ford and Firth

For more on the film, read writer Anne Thompson's wonderful interview with Tom Ford on Thompson on Hollywood.

Photos courtesy of The Weinstein Company - Edward Grau @ The Weinstein Company 2009.


  1. Just judging from the clips, the design is stunning. This film should do wonders for the design industry and all of us who support it.

  2. I agree with your comments. It takes a special talent for the design of the period interiors.