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The Last Emperor. Courtesy Recorded Picture Company Ltd.


PERSOL MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS: 30 stories of craftsmanship in film

Jun 14 — Aug 19, 2012

The second installation of a three-exhibition series, PERSOL MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS: 30 stories of craftsmanship in film, uncovers ten powerful stories of obsessive workmanship within filmmaking. It offers a unique opportunity to view rarely seen artifacts from some of cinema’s most legendary films, as well as behind- the-scenes research notes, sketches, video interviews, and materials used in the development process by some of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

Among the celebrated stories is that of director Todd Haynes, who made detailed color charts for his film Far from Heaven, precisely calibrating the emotional tone and aesthetic of each scene. And when helping to bring to life the story of controversial socialite Wallis Simpson (in W.E.), costume designer Arianne Phillips turned to Simpson’s own obsession with adornment to create a wardrobe that not only evoked the look and quality of historic haute couture but also captured the emotional tone of each garment. Actor-director Ed Harris immersed himself in the character of Jackson Pollock for years, learning to paint in the style of the artist. Actor Hilary Swank, for her part as Maggie in Million Dollar Baby, got so good at boxing that she earned the respect of her legendary trainer.

The exhibition also looks at the work of French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie), cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor), director Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest), special effects supervisor and technical innovator Douglas Trumbull (“Stargate” sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey), composer Ennio Morricone (his collaborations with Sergio Leone), and production designer Dean Tavoularis (One from the Heart).

About Persol

Persol has always had a close affinity with cinema and has featured in iconic films such as La Dolce Vita, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Casino Royale. For more information about Persol, visit