Nov 21, 2011

Gosford Park  [2001]

Directed by Robert Altman 
Production Design by Stephen Altman
Art Direction by John Frankish & Sarah Hauldren
Set Decoration by Anna Pinnock 
Cinematography by Andrew Dunn 
Film Format: 35 mm  Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
USA Films

In the 1930’s British country estate of Gosford Park, period detail, scrupulously researched, serves to educate the viewer while providing a believable backdrop for the murder mystery and class comedy being played out.  Although thoroughly equipped with the tools of the trade, the servant roles of the users are reinforced by their relegation to these cellar spaces and their status dramatized by the contrast of delicate china, gleaming, crystal and silver and the butcherblock work tables, soot-stained brick ovens and enormous copper pots.  The minutiae of the kitchen service and protocols are exhibited by slow sideways panning across fastidiously styled studio sets, so there is no mistaking this for a glamorous place to work. So detached and independent is it from the pleasures and freedoms of the land owners and wealthy guests above, that the lady of the house must apologize for her rare intrusion on the servant’s supper.