Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema – MoMA exhibit


The Museum of Modern Art in New York pays tribute to renowned film production designer Dante Ferretti with a large-scale multimedia installation and a six-month film programme. The exhibition will run from the 28th of September to the 9th of February and will feature Academy Award winning designs from “The Aviator”, “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Hugo”.

Mr Ferretti started working in films at the early age of 17. Among his early collaborations appear the names of directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini, who gave him the opportunity to experiment both with dreamlike sets and more simplistic – although not in the least striking – designs. The innate vision for the extra-ordinary and magnificent architectures made itself evident in films such as Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and Neil Jordan’s “Interview with the Vampire”. His enduring collaboration with director Martin Scorsese started on the period drama “The Age of Innocence” and continued on films such as “Gangs of New York”, “Shutter Island” and “Hugo”, just to name a few. Among the other directors he worked with are: Franco Zeffirelli, Ettore Scola, Brian DePalma, Julie Taymor, Jean-Jacques Annaud and Anthony Minghella. He has won three British BAFTAs awards and three Academy Awards (plus seven additional nominations). Dante Ferretti is currently working on Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Cinderella, after which he will design Martin Scorsese’s “Sinatra”.


The exhibition “Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema” compromises a 12-screen labyrinth featuring projected scenes from his works and original set pieces, including the chandeliers from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Salò”, or “120 Days of Sodom” and the massive, illuminated clock from Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo”, as well as sculptural objects created for the Venice Film Festival. This exhibition also serves to document the transitioning of cinema practice through its selection and organization of drawings, large-scale installations, and digital projection. Sketches, drawings, and design objects are installed throughout the three floors to further illuminate the artistic practice of one of the masters of the craft.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a retrospective of 22 films and the full schedule is available on the MoMA website. Presented in collaboration with Luce Cinecittà, Rome, both exhibitions are organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, and Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; with Antonio Monda, author and professor, New York University; and Marina Sagona, artist.

In 2011 Mr Ferretti took part in a BAFTA Guru interview alongside his life-long collaborator and wife Francesca Lo Schiavo. You can watch it here: http://guru.bafta.org/dante-ferretti-interview-video

Elisa was born in the small town of Udine, Italy, where she made her first short films. Aged 18 she moved to London where she achieved a degree in Film & Broadcast Production with her film "A Tragedy", based on William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". She recently pursued a Master degree in Screenwriting for TV and Film thus joining the group of struggling writers. Ssst! She's brainstorming.