Focus on Dante Ferretti

sweeney todd
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
"The most important thing for a production designer is to understand the period. When you understand the period, you can work inside the period" Dante Ferretti

Immerse yourself in the lavishly conceived worlds of the Oscar-winning production designer who has worked in creative partnership with such acclaimed directors as Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese.

Curated by Roberta Ciabarra

Friday 20 February - Sunday 1 March, 2009
Full $13 Concession $10
6 Session Package: Full $60 Concession $48
NB > 6 Session Packages can only be purchased by phone (03 8663 2583) or in person at the ACMI Box Office. All sessions must be selected at time of booking.

Read the Curator's Notes, and flip through our Picture Gallery of Ferretti's sketches.

sweeney todd: the demon barber of fleet street

In collaboration with Tim Burton, Ferretti created a sinister London in which the venal instincts of Todd and Mrs Lovett found macabre expression.

and the ship sails on (e la nave va)

Ferretti's creative partnership with Fellini reached dreamily fabulist heights with this film set on a luxury cruiser on the eve of World War I.

the age of innocence

For Scorsese's lush adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, Ferretti took inspiration from original oil paintings which he assigned to each character.


In this dazzling adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Ferretti mixes ancient and contemporary, fusing Roman and Art Deco sets with modern technology.

the aviator

In 2005 Ferretti shared his first Oscar with his wife and creative partner Francesca Lo Schiavo, for Scorsese's ambitious biopic of Howard Hughes.

the decameron

For Pasolini's first 'trilogy of life' installment Ferretti absorbed production design ideas from Italian and Dutch Renaissance masters.

the black dahlia

Adapted from a James Ellroy novel, The Black Dahlia is set in the noir underbelly of '40s California, which Ferretti reconstructed on set in Bulgaria.

interview with the vampire

For Jordan's adaptation of the Anne Rice novel Ferretti built 65 sets, recreating six different periods from 1791 to present-day San Francisco.

tales of ordinary madness

Ferretti's art direction for this adaptation of the autobiographical writings of Charles Bukowski is unadorned; in step with the down-at-heel realism.

the adventures of baron munchausen

The titular baron of Terry Gilliam's film journeys from a lunar landscape to Vulcan's fiery lair, passing through an array of elaborate set pieces.


For Scorsese's '95 crime saga Ferretti created a harsh, garish Las Vegas to project the excess of the "good old days" when the mob ruled Sin City.

la nuit de varennes

Ferretti's eye for detail and authenticity are sumptuously to the fore in Scola's drama, transporting us to France at the height of the revolution.

the name of the rose

Ferretti supervised the construction of the medieval abbey that served as the locus for this labyrinthine drama, based on the novel by Umberto Eco.

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