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Test Magazine Presents: Gary Card

The set designer selects David Cronenberg's twisted 'Videodrome' for his film screening

Design aficionado Gary Card is the next host of Test Mag Presents' monthly fashion film screening, set to take place this Thursday at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. The set, props, graphic, interior designer and illustrator will present David Cronenberg's notoriously dark and disturbing 'Videodrome', followed by a Q&A session.

Cronenberg's sci-fi horror flick is set in 1980s Toronto and stars James Woods (alongside Sonja Smits and Debbie Harry) as the proprietor of a small cable station who stumbles across a disturbing new broadcast signal. It tracks the deception and mind-control of technology and media. In between working on his upcoming book, numerous editorials and sets, Gary Card found time to talk to Dazed Digital about Cronenberg, Tim Burton and Batman.

Dazed Digital: How did you get involved in Test Presents?
Gary Card:
I was invited to the last one and loved the idea; at the end of the show they invited me to present my own. From the moment I was approached I knew which movie I'd pick. David Cronenberg is my favourite director and 'Videodrome' is the best example of his philosophy: dark, trippy and really sleazy. I love how quietly disturbing this film is. I'm always intrigued by the perverse and things that distort what we already think about something familiar, which is essentially what this film is about.

DD: Were you choosing between other films?
Gary Card:
No, if it wasn't 'Videodrome' it would have been 'Naked Lunch', or maybe 'Dead Ringers', they’re all total classics.

DD: Do you have a favourite scene or quote?
Gary Card:
I'm not good with quotes. My brain is too feeble to remember them (although I can recite the entire script to 'Batman Forever'!). The most memorable scene has to be James Woods getting seduced by the sexy, undulating TV and then getting sucked into it.

DD: As a set designer, you must take inspiration from a variety of sources; does film impact your work?
Gary Card:
Film has a huge influence on what I make. I get really excited about costume, so Tim Burton movies were a great inspiration when I was younger. I'm also a total comic nerd so I love super-hero films: you can see a lot of that in my costume editorial work although it's usually hugely distorted by the time the image is finished.

DD: You've collaborated on so many projects. Which has been your favourite?
Gary Card:
This is almost impossible to answer, I love so many! Although I'm probably most proud of LN-CC. One of the things I love about my work is that each job is totally different. No editorial is ever the same, so no approach can ever really be the same, but they all start with me in the studio sketching frantically − that never seems to change.

Text by Lucy Morris