Based on the comic book, Men in Black tells the story of a NYPD detective who joins an agency that polices extra-terrestrial affairs on Earth. Men in Black came hot on the heels of Independence Day (1996) and solidified Will Smith as a global superstar. A massive commercial success, it also gave us some amazing sets. MIB HQ is not only an amazingly well designed and built set, but it is filled with cool white and grey mid-century modern furniture. It won nominations for an Academy Award and Art Directors Guild Award for Bo Welch, Cheryl Carasik and Thomas Duffield.Read more »
Furniture, Lighting, Décor & More
The most memorable set item in the movie is most definitely the Ovalia Egg Chair that James – not yet Agent J – sits in during his test to join the MiB organisation. The chair, designed by Henrik Thor-Larsen, is from the 60’s yet was chosen for its futuristic look which comes from its pod like design, lack of edges, and glossy clean white finish. The Ovalia is a luxurious and rare chair so it’s not common to see more than one at a time - but this scene has seven!Read more
One of the most memorable scenes of Men in Black is where James (Will Smith) drags the coffee table from the centre of the room over to his chair so he can complete his test paper on it. Though what you may not know is that this particular piece is the Tulip Coffee Table designed by the much celebrated Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll. With a white marble top and white coated cast iron base this table has some real weight – which we find out as we hear the sound it makes as it’s dragged across the floor.Read more
The MiB HQ has a futuristic design dominated by pristine white mixed with grey and silver. It is endowed with a detached clinical presence - a parallel of the men and women who belong to it. The design of the headquarters is used to make the black suits stand out – it helps put focus back on the characters. The set designers created a stunning location that doesn’t steal the audiences eye but instead creates an atmosphere that permeates through every scene. One striking aspect of the design is the amount of mid twentieth century seating that is used – the decorators had to go back 40 years to find the pieces that can best convey the future.Read more
Scene image credit to Columbia Pictures/Amblin Entertainment/Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation
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