“Speed Racer” set design
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A ‘Speed Racer’ time warp

Some of the home sets in the new film “Speed Racer” are as wild as the action on the racetrack. “We were trying to make the film quite timeless, retro and midcentury, but set sometime in the future,” says Owen Paterson, the production designer, who had worked with writers-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski on their groundbreaking “Matrix” trilogy. One of the challenges was making all the vibrant colors gel. Here, set decorator Peter Walpole used a purplish upholstery that works surprisingly well with the blue linoleum floors and orange accents.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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On the set of “Speed Racer”: Members of the Racer family help Speed (Emile Hirsch) build his car in the family garage.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Speed’s bedroom, like many parts of the Racer home, is ablaze with bold colors, which were ramped up further digitally in post-production.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Throughout the house, shiny racing trophies grace shelves, hundreds of toy cars line the sills, and racing posters decorate the walls.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Speed (Emile Hirsch), right, meets with Royalton (Roger Allam), in an office that typifies the retro-futuristic look in the film. Says set decorator Peter Walpole: “You never quite know where you are or what time you’re in.”

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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The look of the future? Speed and an airplane attendant (Lauren Blake) take flight.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Gennie (Cosma Shiva Hagen) leads Speed (Emile Hirsch) into the office of Royalton, who asks Speed to race for him.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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All manner of racing paraphernalia colors Speed’s bedroom.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Mom (Susan Sarandon) reprimands son Spritle (Paulie Litt) and the chimp Chim Chim. “Speed’s world is a parallel world, an exaggeration of color and action and images,” production designer Owen Paterson says.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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A desk built for “Speed.”

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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Color, pattern, decoration: The new film overloads the senses.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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• Fresh ideas at new L.A.-area hotels
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The Racer family kitchen is a cartoon come to life.

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• A futuristic, midcentury movie set for ‘Speed Racer’

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• Fresh ideas at new L.A.-area hotels
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• Eye Candy: Home & Garden Photo Galleries (David Appleby)
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