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It’s a strong season for period production design Oscar contenders, with Sam Mendes’ bold, continuous-shot, Word War I thriller, “1917,” as the frontrunner. It required production designer Dennis Gassner and the art department to make the intricate sets (the trenches, No Man’s Land, the destroyed countryside, and burned out village) in precise accordance with the choreography of Roger Deakins’ tour de force camera work.
Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” masterfully explores class divide in Korea, boasting the season’s most elaborate production design work by designer Lee Ha Jun. The exquisite mansion serves as a central character; and the home’s vertical design expresses space and division, highlighted by wood, glass, and spare furniture.
Another standout is Barbara Ling’s work on Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” She provides a 50-year facelift to Hollywood Blvd. and Westwood Village for Tarantino’s 1969 love letter to Tinseltown, and recreated the creepy Spahn Ranch in the San Fernando Valley for the Manson Family lair.
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