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THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE

The Moon, The Stars, The Earth

From the beginning, Rand Ravich knew the look of The Astronaut's Wife had to be as wild, complex and shock-inducing as the events that befall Spencer and Jillian Armacost. He worked closely in collaboration with acclaimed, five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau, whose work includes the space-age classic E,T: The Extra Terrestrial as well as Empire of the Sun, Bugsy and The Color Purple, to fine-tune the film's visceral, inner-sanctum view of fear. Daviau went for a disorienting tapestry effect: from the cool alienation of space to the blinding warmth of Florida to the hazy, impersonal frenzy of Manhattan.

Says Charlize Theron: "Allen Daviau is a genius, and I don't use that word lightly. He's the kind of guy that can create nightmares on film, the kind of guy who has nightmares if something isn't lit absolutely perfectly. It brings out the best in people when you have someone who is that passionate about what they do."

Equally vital to the film's chilling ambiance was production designer Jan Roelfs, who previously received Oscar nominations for his work on the historical Orlando and the futuristic Gattaca. Here, he designs a contemporary reality that is just slightly more disconcerting and shadow-ridden than the one we inhabit in ordinary daylight. He raises the same questions about reality visually that Jillian asks herself emotionally.

"Jan Roelfs knows how to make the ordinary look spectacular," states producer Andrew Lazar. "His production design is very unique. He gives the aura of something being a bit odd at the heart of NASA's headquarters and the hospital and everywhere Jillian goes, but without making them alien in any obvious way."

Adds Rand Ravich: "Jan's work lent an unsettling elegance to the film through constant subtle suggestions and overriding themes."

Shot on location in New York City and Los Angeles, the production utilized numerous well-known sites including Staten Island, Washington Square Park, Wall Street, and City Hall on the East Coast; and the Greystone Mansion, Santa Monica Civic Center and downtown Los Angeles' Unocal building on the West Coast.

Sums up Mark Johnson: "The look of the film is meant to be at once romantic and uniquely disquieting. The idea is that by the end of the movie your heart will have gone through a lot: it will be touched and broken by a tragic love story and shocked to the point of pounding by an incredible psychological tale of horror."

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