Do you ever find yourself curious about what drives the creativity of some of the most talented individuals you know? We sat down with some of Hong Kong's most renowned interior designers to discover the movies that have shaped and influenced their distinctive design styles.
During a recent flight, I rewatched In the Mood for Love, and it struck me again as a perfectly crafted piece of art. Every detail, like the sound, costumes, colours, and settings, is carefully designed to convey the scene and the characters' feelings. It's a testament to the filmmakers' skill. What's interesting is that this movie feels different every time I watch it, especially as I've seen it at various stages of my life. It continues to offer new perspectives and emotions with each viewing.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of our favourite movies, and the director, Wes Anderson, does inspire us a lot with the attitude of chasing aesthetics and practice.
A lot. Take, for instance, classics such as The Last Emperor and Casablanca, or more contemporary TV shows such as Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace. The latter is not your typical TV series, but a visual splendour. Every setting, frame, colour palette, and angle is well thought out. Though, I’ll admit, the soundtracks still have room for improvement.
It has to be this movie about Lydia Tár. It’s my recent favourite, it dives deep into this female composer’s declining career and her abusive power dynamic within an orchestra.
I’m not going to spoil too much about this movie. I’m a diehard A24 fan. I really love their intellectual films, but also who doesn’t love Cate Blanchett? To me, a lot of the aspects in the movie reflect greatly on how our projects come to be – the unspoken words, the aesthetic of the film, whether it be the composition or cinematography, they are just top-notch. Also, in the movie, her brutalist house is just absolutely gorgeous.
As a design student, my favourite movie was 2001: A Space Odyssey – a cinematic marvel in the late 1960s. Back in the day, its visual effects were groundbreaking, perfectly blending the design signatures from the 1960s with futurism. The movie maybe niche, but it remains a masterpiece even today. Its philosophical approach was perhaps too advanced for its time, but it stands the test of time.
The films of Director Wong Kar Wai, from the timeless classic In the Mood for Love to the captivating The Grandmaster, exhibit an extraordinary artistic expression that merges the beauty of the past with the past and present, which has served as a profound inspiration for my works in Contemporary European design.
Alphaville – a French science fiction noir film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The spiral staircase in the film was an inspiration to the deconstructed chandeliers inside AMMO. It also inspired the choice of materials with references of raw materials similar to those used in military and industrial settings much like the history of AMMO which was once a former warehouse of explosives built by the British Army in the 19th century.
Several movies have significantly inspired my designs, particularly those in the science fiction genre. Films such as Gattaca, 2046, Blade Runner, and Kingsman have sparked my imagination and influenced my approach to creating transformative spaces. The futuristic aesthetics, unique atmospheres, and attention to detail in these movies have inspired me to push boundaries and think outside the box when designing interiors. They have shown me the power of creating immersive environments that transport people to different worlds and evoke emotions.
"Temporary actors are still actors. We’re not shooting a horror movie now. Even though you’re playing ordinary pedestrians, you still have a life, a soul.” – Stephen Chow, King of Comedy. This is the first movie and dialogue that comes to mind. There are a lot of foreign films with amazing visuals, and incredible utilisation of colour and lighting. However, rather than singling out a particular film that ignites my inspiration, this line is the mindset that should be adopted towards design work in Hong Kong. Going above and beyond, paying meticulous attention to details and striving for personal growth – this is my approach.
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