OSCAR WINNER WAS THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER ON 'BLOW OUT'
Paul Sylbert, the production designer on Blow Out and many other classic films, died November 19, at his home in Jenkintown, Pa., according to William Grimes at the New York Times. He was 88. Sylbert was the identical twin brother of production designer Richard Sylbert, who passed away in 2002. Richard had worked with De Palma on The Bonfire Of The Vanities and Carlito's Way. Both brothers began their careers working on Elia Kazan films, Baby Doll and A Face In The Crowd, while in between those two films, Paul Sylbert also worked on Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man.
Here's an excerpt of interest from the New York Times obituary:
The film critic Vincent Canby, in an essay on production design for The New York Times in 1981, noted Mr. Sylbert’s chameleonlike ability to summon up entirely different visual worlds even within similar genres. For Brian De Palma’s suspense film “Blow Out,” he evoked Philadelphia in realistic terms, but the New York in the horror thriller “Wolfen,” released on the same day as “Blow Out” in 1981, was, Mr. Canby wrote, something entirely different.
“Mr. Sylbert’s Manhattan is a fantasy island under siege by some sort of superwolves,” he wrote. “Its South Bronx is dominated by the shell of a church that seems to have been blitzed during months of air raids.”
In his review of the film, Mr. Canby praised its “otherworldly look” and wrote, “Not since Nicolas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now’ has there been such a beautifully mounted and designed scare movie.”
Mr. Sylbert received an Academy Award for his work on “Heaven Can Wait” and was nominated for a second Oscar for Barbra Streisand’s 1991 film “The Prince of Tides.” In 2009, the Art Directors Guild presented him with a lifetime achievement award.