My essentials: Francesca Mercieca’s cultural picks

121 | Francesca Mercieca, 30, set designer, filmmaker & artist

1. Book

Kineticism by Z, Pesanek, I’m reading it for the second time as it really struck me in a way that couldn’t come at a better time. I always design for light and now I came to a point where the sun and all the physics of optics, refraction, light emitting within and around us is really part of my expression. I’m currently exhibition an installation in Spazzju Kreattiv ‘We come to eachother in ways’ until the end of June which is my first solo take on the immense inspiration this book has motivated me to create. Reading for me is really an empirical process to continue my research and experimentation to refine my process and technique.

2. Film

This is a hard question - I really love science fiction, it’s probably my favourite genre - Plus David Bowie is one of my favourite actors “The man who fell to the earth” (1976) is a real gem of a movie. I’ll just put my second favourite film “Under the Skin” (2014) by Johnathan Glazer - Third would be Dune (2021)-. On the other hand, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film “Holy Mountain” (1973) made me want to do set design in film - so I owe a lot to some special inspiring heroes in my film-making journey, the list is endless.

3. TV/Internet

Honestly, laughing in the best medicine - and good comedy is always a mix of going over sketches from Terry Gilliam. Monty Python is a proper classic and the timeless power of the ‘Black Books’ series from Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan never gets old.

4. Music

David Bowie, Ashes to Ashes is one of those anthems for me.

5. Place 

Lido in Venice really blew me away in terms of inspiration. These small islands around Italy are pretty mesmerizing. Apparently Wes Anderson, amongst many other directors, probably filmed close to Lido and many other places. After being there in April, I really want to make a film there the sunsets and the huts around the beach are unique.