Fashion designers are trying their hands at filmmaking more often now, which got us thinking about Tom Ford's debut (A Single Man) and his follow-up from last year (Nocturnal Animals).
Though the film opened to great acclaim, A Single Man was criticized for being overly stylized in its visual presentation of unrealistically perfect or “too beautiful" images. While one might attribute the striking look of the film to the aesthetic sensibility Ford developed as a fashion designer, these stylistic choices aren't random or superficial, but tied to character and story.
From the color grading to the mise-en-scene and cinematography, Ford uses film techniques that work in concert with the storytelling to help develop George Falconer (Colin Firth) and his emotional journey. The conspicuous stylization imparts meaning that cannot be conveyed simply through dialogue or conventional imagery. In Nocturnal Animals, Ford continued to explore layered emotions through multiple narratives, it didn't connect deliberate visual choices to storytelling in the same way. Check out the video to see how Ford gracefully uses style and form to create meaning.