I dreamt I stabbed you in the eye

posted on 28th Jan 2019 by Ailbhe Diskin

If you haven’t seen Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite you are missing out. It is no normal 18th century English drama. It centres on Queen Anne (played by Olivia Coleman) who is traumatised and in ill-health, her longtime friend and adviser Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) who is the Duchess of Marlborough and her cousin Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), a servant who once held the title of a lady seeking to replace Sarah as the Queen’s favourite. It is dark, whacky and with that so are its graphics. These came courtesy of designer Vasilis Marmatakis, who has produced work for other films by Lanthimos like The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

To any designer, at first, the typography of the film may seem jarring. The typeface used is Village, designed by Frederic Goudy in the early 20th century which he modelled on Venetian typefaces from the 1400s. It is not the typeface in particular that is strange about this film, it is the justification of the type.

Marmatakis has allocated each word it’s own line in a justified paragraph, causing the tracking for short words to be dramatically wide. For the title this method is extremely effective, The three letters of the word “the” are spaced out so that the type reflects the shape of a crown. As for the graphics that are dotted throughout the film, the odd nature of the typesetting is rivalled by the chapter titles themselves with phrases such as “This mud stinks” and “I dreamt I stabbed you in the eye.” In fact, to an onlooker, the design of the film would seem whacky and plain odd, but in reality, it is perfectly fitting for this brilliantly dark humoured film.

What’s also cool is that it was co-produced by an Irish production company – Element Pictures who also own The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. So, as an extra bonus if you choose to watch The Favourite here you can see several of the costumes as well as several alternative poster designs by Marmatakis for this and Lanthimos’ other films.

 

AILBHE DISKIN – GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Ailbhe is Neworld’s newest designer and without a doubt the lankiest member of the team. With a degree in Visual Communication from DIT, she travels to work every morning from the exotic depths of the Northside; a Dub through and through. Her love of design is only rivalled by her obsession with both dogs and prawn cocktail crisps.