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Entries in Colorology (54)

Monday
Apr252016

The Furniture: The Lady with the Van Paints a Crime Scene Into a Home

"The Furniture" is our new design series. Here's Daniel Walber...

The Lady in the Van begins with a bloody hit-and-run accident. The title van-driving lady, played by Maggie Smith, collides with a young man and leaves him for dead. On the lam, bound by necessity to a vehicle that may also be a murder weapon, she finds her way to a quiet neighborhood full of artists and bourgeois intellectuals.

Then it turns into a delightful comedy about the social anxieties of Alan Bennett.

It’s a bit abrupt, to be honest. And it may take a fair while to warm up to the neurotic, Adaptation.-style doppelgangers that represent the split personalities of the playwright protagonist. The vans themselves, though, quite effectively capture a much more gradual transition, one that charts Mary/Margaret’s arc with care. What begins as an all-in-one murder weapon and crime scene becomes a home. [More...]

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Monday
Mar212016

The Furniture: Brooklyn and Carol's Dramatically Different Department Stores

It's our new Production Design series, "The Furniture." Daniel Walber kicked things off last week with the bedroom in The Exorcist. Now a different era and public spaces - Editor

Thanks to Brooklyn and Carol, 2015 was a banner year for the 1950s department store. Both Eilis and Therese spend a fair amount of time as New York City shopgirls, selling to housewives and dealing with stern floor managers. Yet, despite the ostensibly common setting, Brooklyn's Bartocci's and Carol's Frankenberg's could not be more different.

The staff areas are a good place to start. Bartocci’s has a simple enough space for its employees, with open coat lockers to keep their belongings. It’s not beautiful, but the wood lends it a cozy quality. Production designer François Séguin (The Red Violin) and art directors Irene O’Brien (This Must Be the Place) and Robert Parle (Riddick) have a subtle, but assured touch. [More...]

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Saturday
Mar052016

Is "Gods of Egypt" a Bad Movie People Will Eventually Love?

The cast sees the reviews! The Horror. The Horror.The ill begotten would be blockbuster Gods of Egypt, directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow), is currently enjoying a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; you could call that score bad luck but for the fact that the movie fully earns it.

Still... There's something enjoyable about tallying up the ways it goes wrong. It continually charges toward its own spectacular idiocy with gusto. Despite heaps of exposition it never makes a lick of sense, explaining rules only to break them. It mounts each action sequence with zero artistry in disguising its shameful lust to earn extra $ as a video game (you half expect congratulatory text and bonus points on screen a la Scott Pilgrim vs The World). It builds its own crazy as high as its in-movie Tower of Babel. It wants to play with surreal Egyptian imagery but is so 2016 that it mistakes human gods with animal heads for organic derivatives of Michael Bay's Transformers

Each actor, freed from mundane concerns of "direction" or even other actors (green screens abound so half the time it's clear they're not together), does his/her own thing. The result is a hilarious hodgepodge of styles, accents, and wildly varying degrees of success at self-amusement: Egyptians with Australian accents? why not, Gerard Butler!; You once saw Pirates of the Caribbean and want to do something affected but can't quite commit to your mincing gay idea? Then do it half ass, Chadwick Boseman; You only want to entertain yourself? Thank you thank you Geoffrey Rush & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You are both having so much fun which is the only way to do a bad movie.

Maybe it's the time of year, the garbage dump month between serious adult films vying for metaphoric gold (it's just gold plating) and studio four-quadrant product vying for audience gold (the green stuff) but I found its monotonous/cheap aesthetic weirdly endearing; the sets and costumes are gold, the lighting is golden, some of the superpowers are fiery gold, and these Gods even bleed gold! This is not a recommendation so much as a "if you're in the mood for it" which I, surprisingly, was. It's a blockbuster dumb as Brenton Thwaites is twink pretty, but it just can't help itself.

Grade: C-/D+
Oscar Chances: Teehee. not even if 2016 ended today with only 40ish movies to choose from. 

Thursday
Feb252016

Thoughts I Had... First Pics of Oscar Set

Thoughts I had looking at the first pics of the Oscar set for Sunday night in the order they came to me after the jump...

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Friday
Feb122016

Interview: Sandy Powell on Color, Character, Carol, Cinderella, and Cate

Sandy Powell on the set of CinderellaSome people rush to movies if their favorite movie star's face is prominent on the poster. Others swear allegiance to directors. Obsessive cinephiles go for all sorts of reasons. One of ours at The Film Experience is Sandy Powell. If she's the costume designer, we're there, no questions asked. We sat through The Tempest (2010) just for her and trust me that that's devotion.

Meeting her in person earlier this season to talk Carol and Cinderella, which brought her her 11th and 12th Oscar nominations and could well bring her a 4th Oscar, was a personal joy. I had talked to her once before by phone but in person we were able to look at costume stills together and had a great conversation. This cinematic MVP was a fun, lively, and personable interviewee. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. 

NATHANIEL R:  I intervewed you once a long time ago and I was really taken aback by something you said. You implied that you were surprised and amused by analytical readings of your work.

SANDY POWELL: I was talking about that today with Judy Becker and she said thing "I've learned so much about my work today!". People read things into it that you weren't consciously thinking about. But they're not bad things! You start thinking "maybe subliminally..." You start taking credit for it! 

A lot of the time you work so fast that you make snap decisions and you don't know what it's based on. I do work instinctively and intuitively. I don't sit and analyze. I don't think about the significance and "What shall I consciously put on her or him or her to convey that?"  I do what feels right. And quite often just by doing that you've got it right, you actually have given something so symbolism.

NATHANIEL R: Do you start thinking of full outfits while you're reading a script?

her answer and much more after the jump...

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Sunday
Jan102016

Golden Globe Arrivals

07:00 The 73rd Annual Golden Globes are here. And we're seated and not yet drunk, far from the Beverly Hilton (NYC to be precise).  I'm getting a late start. I blame pizza cravings. As I sat down with half of a pizza in my mouth -- I don't play around! -- Svelte Kirsten Dunst in autoerotic black (damn girl) was talking about her recent diet to plump up a bit for Fargo "you know... bread and cheese". Dear reader it's like I was on TV and she was making fun of me from home, the cheese dribbling down my chin.

07:08 Earlier on the TV we also learned that Alicia Vikander went sky-diving (okay) that maybe don't surprise Jamie Lee Curtis with a question about her mother's Golden Globe win for Psycho  ("you know... my mom's been gone a long time... we're moving forward... I'm happy to be here representing my show") and Jennifer Lopez had difficult describing the color of her dress. 

it's kind of a mustardy, yellow, marigoldy... I don't know."

I think you do know JLo.

07:12 Distracted momentarily by Monty-- who has refused to do his cat pundtiry this year. Sorry people. He's old, so give him a break -- I missed the context of Amy Schumer saying she has "old lady fingers" Anyone? 

07:18 At some point Joann Froggat from Downton Abbey reveals that she stans Cate Blanchett hard. This did not seem worth typing at the time because who doesn't. But still... She does.

07:20 Channing & Jenna (Mrs Tatum) don't sound like they're lying at all when they express surprise that people keep talking about the Lipsynch Battle. Which either suggests they are in a very tiny celebrity bubble world or they're good at playing their 'who us?' chill married couple persona.

07: 30 Kate Hudson and The Rock talking about Halloween for some reason 

 

07:31 We need to talk about Rooney Mara's braid.

07:34 Jacob Tremblay is already such a pro. Cackling when he stifles a "Duh!" and politely answers questions about whether he's seen The Force Awakens.

 

 

 

07:35 Amy Adams to Ryan Seacrest:

I'm so bad at winning awards!"

Tough problems.

07:42  Rami Malek reveals that he has been friends with Kirsten Dunst for a long time. Interesting.

07:45 Very cute exchange between Jennifer Lawrence and Katy Perry. Katy Perry saw Joy by herself in her sweatpants crying/inspired. 'I can make it in the world!' JLaw chuckles. 'I think you've already made it.'

07:46 I can listen to Saoirse Ronan talk about anything forever. I sometimes cant even register what she's going on about I'm so crushing on the vocals. Finally Saoirse says, without confidence, "I think I'm sitting at Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence's table?" Doesn't this seem like something you'd commit to memory as soon as you heard?! 

08:00 ooh, show is starting. Byeeeee

 

 

Wednesday
Jan062016

Odile Dicks-Mireaux on Enhancing Saoirse's Journey in "Brooklyn" / Reuniting with Rachel Weisz for "Denial" 

Odile Dicks-Mireaux. Image via Female FirstThe thing about Brooklyn is that everyone can relate to it. Stories of immigration touch almost everyone, or at least run through their family's DNA. Even the move from one state with a personality quite unlike your original home, can feel like a reinvention.  Nearly a year after seeing Brooklyn for the first time it's strange to think that I worried that people wouldn't connect to it! Who needs sensationalistic drama when a story is this really. When it's power can sneak up on you? 

I had the pleasure of discussing this universal resonance, and the job of defining Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) through her costume changes with the designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux, who herself related to the story. Her mother was French and her father British and they met, both immigrants, in Brooklyn in the 1940s, and built a life in a foreign country together. Odile is London based and was best known, prior to know, with her frequently BAFTA nominated work on British television miniseries like Gormenghast and Great Expectations though she's also designed Oscar nominated dramas like The Constant Gardener and An Education

Here's our interview. 

NATHANIEL R: I first saw Brooklyn at Sundance and I loved it but I remember feeling that I had no idea how people would react to it when it was released.  Which in retrospect was kind of foolish of me.

 ODILE DICKS-MIREAUX: You never know when you're making a movie how it's going to turn out and whether it will hit a nerve. Would it be too much of a simple story or too old fashioned? So it's been a real pleasure that it's resonated. [More...]

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