Signified is a publication that presents and discusses the powerful roles props and set design play in film. Drawing upon semiotic theory as a basis, this book shall discuss the significance of five objects from five different films: Pan’s Labyrinth, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Blade Runner, American Beauty and Pulp Fiction. The other component of Signified is a collection of five significant spaces within four alternative films, The Cube, The Shining, American Psycho, and two spaces from Fight Club. In the context of some film’s significant spaces, it’s important to note the different functions these spaces have. They commonly fall into one of two categories: spaces used to represent a character, and spaces used to develop a character. You’ll find that films that use their sets to represent their protagonists are often flicks that are weighted heavily towards the emotional development of the lead character. Because these films (usually) consist of less dialogue between characters, directors have to establish the ‘type’ of person the protagonist is using their set design carefully. On the flip side, sets that develop their characters tend to lend themselves more to the sci-fi and horror genres. Spooky houses, seemingly deserted Alien spaceships etc are all spaces in which characters interact in and with, which consequently create a positive, adrenaline-filled viewing experience. I hope you enjoy it.
8th March 2016