Lights, Camera, Attention to Detail

Philadelphia Flower ShowAt the Philadelphia Flower Show, there are always long, patient, lines waiting to see the Miniature Settings classes. These are staged at eye-level, in rectangular boxes behind glass with a scale of 1” to 1’. Finding ‘plants’ for these is a case of surgical precision, using plants whose parts might match the scale involved. At last 8 different plants must be used. This year’s theme was ZOOM IN: FANTASTY and ZOOM IN: DRAMA. I loved that I knew so many of the movies and could recognize the scene depicted. I bet you can too!!

An Affair to Remember movie posterAn Affair to Remember miniature settingThis setting in “An Affair to Remember” is the Amalfi-coast home of Cary Grant’s grandmother, (played by the aged but still lovely Kathleen Nesbitt). Brightly colored florets of Kalanchoe stand in for floriferous Mediterranean plants.

The Lady and The Tramp PosterThe Lady and The Tramp Miniature SettingOn the set of “Lady and the Tramp”, the designers’ intent reads in part: …can a charming boy from ‘the other side of the trash cans’ succeed with the pampered lady from the fancy side of town?”

Enchanted April Movie PosterEnchanted April Miniature SettingEnchanted April”, a wonderful film, turned up twice at the show, in the Tablescape class, and here, in the settings, where it highlighted an al fresco moment again on the Amalfi coast where the incredible cast (including Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Michael Kitchen) tell stories.

The Wizard of Oz Movie PosterTheWizard of OZ miniature setting detailsIn this topsy-turvy vignette of “The Wizard of Oz”, the tornado has just struck and Dorothy’s ruby shoes peek out from under the porch!!

Rear Window Movie PosterHands Down one of the very best miniature settings I have ever seen was the first place winner, “Rear Window”. I couldn’t stay away from this. Of course it helped that early in the morning, I didn’t have to stand in line to see it.

Rear Window miniature Setting 1The complete attention to detail and scale was breath-taking. If you know the movie, you’ll recognize all the details.

Rear Window gardenPoor Miss Lonely Hearts’ apartment looks out on the minute garden. Note the dog has dug up the corner!

Rear Window Miss Torso's apt‘Miss Torso is the ‘hospitable’ dancer entertaining lots of men. Her apartment sits above the sculptor’s studio, and the newlywed’s rooms, curtains always closed, is on the left in the adjacent building. Look at the exquisite scale of Miss Torso’s potted plants!

Rear Window Thorwald's AptThe basket is ready to lower the dog to the garden. The center of attention is suspected murderer Lars Thorwald’s apartment with the trunk and the mattress. Where did his wife go?

Rear Window Composer's StudioThe studio of the composer whose song saves Miss Lonely Hearts life! Watch the movie again. Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Thelma Ritter, Wendell Corey and Raymond Burr as Thorwald. The star is the set, like this miniature, the story is right there. It’s Hitchcock at his best!!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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3 Responses to Lights, Camera, Attention to Detail

  1. Alexandra says:

    Rear Window display is amazing!! The detail and scale is incredible – definitely deserved first place. Now I want to go watch the movie again.

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