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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Costume Design (121)

Wednesday
Oct292014

Threads: "Know your place. Accept your place. Be a shoe"

Each Wednesday in "Threads" we'll be obsessing over a single costume we're fixated on that week. This one's an apology: how on earth did Snowpiercer get left out of those Halloween Costume Suggestions yesterday?

Tilda Swinton spends the bulk of her screentime in Snowpiercer, now on DVD, in a politican-conservative white top and matching skirt adorned with medals. Well, as white as clothing can be in the sooty environs of this dystopian movie where the earth's only living citizens have lived on a speeding train for decades. But when we first see her she's wearing an burnt orange fur with matching tinted glasses, over a brilliant purple skirt suit and boy does it pop surrounded by the grays, blacks, and dour miserabilism of the train. The costume's purpose? Surely to intimidate with its wealthy grandeur and add to that same miserablism. Or, as costume designer Catherine George put it in an interview with Clothes on Film, her inspiration was

...images of women from the from late 60’s/early 70’s, a certain type that I remembered growing up who would wear their fur to go into town and scoff at people who were less better off, a bit of a Margaret Thatcher type, really. The suit was a typical conservative politician shape and style – the purple has the royal quality and it pops with the colour of the fur.

Minister Mason launches into her instantly classic "Be a shoe" monologue in this ensemble in order to put the low class citizens in their 'back of the train' place.

The costume is glorious but Tilda is crazy enough to be hideously unattractive within it. Despite her fashion icon status and ageless alien beauty, the actress has always been without vanity as a performer and the cinema is all the better for it.  The tables are eventually turned on Mason, a self proclaimed "hat" to inferior "shoes," and she is forced to wear a shoe on her own head.

A shoe is not a hat. Except when Tilda wears it, fully revelling in its absurdity.

New group fantasy for the weekend: What if everyone on earth dressed up as their favorite Tilda character this weekend? All  these unforgivingly cruel and icy dystopias that are so in vogue would melt away leaving a Swintonian Utopia in their place.

Snowpiercer is now available on Netflix Instant Watch 
Related: this year's Oscar race for costume design 
Previously on "Threads": Outlander 

Tuesday
Oct282014

Top Ten: 2014 Movie Characters For Halloween Costumes

Halloween hits on Friday. Are you prepared to see Elsa & Annas & Olafs everywhere you look for our first post-Frozen dress-up holiday? That billion dollar 2013 smash will surely dominate. As for 2014 movies it goes without saying that you'll see a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy  and sometimes full teams. Team costumes on Halloween are the best but the key to their worth will be in how they handle adorable memorable Groot. Groot costumes will range everywhere from the godawful to the 'how'd they do it' spectacular, depending on creativity and budget.

Here are the characters / movies that would be the neatest tricks to pull off that would make the biggest treats for The Film Experience if fully sewn or creatively cobbled together by overachievers.

(Say no to store bought costumes!)

TEN 2014 COSTUMES WE HOPE TO SEE ON HALLOWEEN

10 "Full Metal Bitch" 
The great takeaway of Edge of Tomorrow or Live. Die. Repeat. or All You Need is Kill or whatever they're calling it today is that Emily Blunt is a badass. Rita, the feared warrior within, practically begs for a life outside of that movie since she is so iconized within it. Good luck pulling off all the metal armor and weaponized accessorizies. And how to look exactly like Emily Blunt while doing it and not "Random Robot Girl"... that's your challenge.
How to win Halloween in this costume: Get a male sidekick in a similar outfit who is shorter than you. Or drag along weird alien carcasses behind you.

"The Shailene Woodley and eight more costumed curveballs after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct232014

Things Johnny Depp's 'Into the Woods' Costume Makes Him Look Like

Margaret here, examining the first image released of Johnny Depp as The Wolf in Into the Woods.

Take it in. There is a lot going on here. Allow me to guide you through it via the magic of list-making.

THINGS THIS COSTUME MAKES JOHNNY DEPP LOOK LIKE, FROM GREATEST RESEMBLANCE TO LEAST

1. A first-round cut from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy auditions
2. Zsa Zsa Gabor's mustachioed coat rack
3. The illegitimate lovechild of Carmen Sandiego and Templeton the Rat
4. A pile of 1970s car seat covers in dire need of a shampoo
5. The Mask when he watches Cameron Diaz sing for the first time 
6. The "after" in a poorly executed "Smokey Eye" makeup tutorial
7. Johnny Depp on a regular Thursday
8. Fanciest presenter at the WerePimp convention
9. A Zoobilee Zoo
10. A Halloween costume assembled from whatever was left at Party City at 8pm, Oct. 31
11. Villain of Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit live-action reboot
12. Zorro making a surprise cameo in the "What Does the Fox Say?" video
13. A magically animated bearskin rug
14. Cruella de Ville's less fashionable younger brother
15. A Very Manly Muppet or a Muppet of a Man
16. The pirating industry's most sought-after stylist
17. Fantastic Mr. Fox cosplayer
19. A molding vintage print ad for mustache wax
18. Huggy Bear
20. [Insert name of any widely ridiculed celebrity offspring here]
21. What Johnny Depp is supposed to look like when he finally works with someone other than Tim Burton
...
...
...
...
100. a wolf

Any suggestions for additions to the list?

Wednesday
Oct222014

Sandy Powell's Glorious Bluntness "I won for the wrong film!"

We've revelled in Sandy Powell's uncensored quotes before - like her dismissive "I already have two of these" speech for Young Victoria.

She's at it again providing us with more choice Oscar quotes and I couldn't resist talking about this tonight since the blog had an unofficial Costume Design day today what with the Exodus video, and the debut of "Threads". 

See, recently at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Chicago, in a series related to David Bowie's legacy and his influence on the arts, the auteur Todd Haynes and his sometime collaborator Sandy Powell were invited to speak about their glam rock classic Velvet Goldmine (1998). You can listen to the complete talk here though be advised that the introductions take an incredible 14 minutes to get through. Longwinded much? 

One of the best bits a little before an hour in is when Sandy is asked about being an Oscar favorite, a very mainstream establishment thing, despite the fact that she came up into fame working with very anti-establishment artists like Derek Jarman. Because she is Sandy Powell and can't help herself and we love her for it, she doesn't leave it at "I'm happy to have Oscars"...

Sandy: I'm happy to receive the Oscars for the work I did because I work really hard...so for that reason I'm not going to say I'm not grateful. BUT. I would have loved to have gotten it for some of the other films instead. The year I won for "Shakespeare in Love," I was also nominated for "Velvet Goldmine". I had two nominations in one year and I won it for the wrong one. I think I did manage in my speech to thank Todd.

Todd: She managed to get up there and receive the Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love" without mentioning "Shakespeare in Love" and only mentioning "Velvet Goldmine".

They laugh and this leads to fun memories of the director and costumer going to the Oscars together. 

Haynes & Powell's next collaboration is the forthcoming Carol (2015) starring Cate Blanchett and they hint that it will arrive in the Spring though that seems unlikely to me. Given the pedigree we're assuming a Cannes premiere and then a fall bow in theaters, don't you think?

P.S. There's a little wonderful bonus for long time TFE fans in this podcast, too. Our friend and podcast mate Nick Davis is given the microphone at about the 34 minute mark and his ode to Todd & Sandy's collaboration is a thing of fan ardor beauty and he asks a great question too than one presumes Sandy has never been asked about Velvet Goldmine.

(Thanks to faithful reader Murtada for the heads up on this wonderful online find)

 

Wednesday
Oct222014

Threads - New Series!

In order to indulge more of TFE's fetish for costume design, in this new Wednesday series "Threads" we'll discuss (briefly) whichever single costume we're most obsessed with that week, from anywhere in time and any filmed medium. Let's begin with a look from Outlander, currently airing on Starz.

I know this will be very shocking and quite impossible to believe if you haven't yet seen the show, but THIS bandage fetish wear on fantasy-man Jamie (Sam Heughan) is not the best costume on display however enticing it may be...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct222014

Exodus: To Links and Blogs

Let my readers go... to other places. Here are a bunch of articles I enjoyed elsewhere or which are worthwhile for their informational newsiness. But come back soon, okay? Okay.

Screen
Dissolve a new Pee Wee Herman movie is "imminent"  
The Dissolve rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Do you think we'll get another film... and will it be better? 
The Guardian on Renée Zellweger and 'the Actor's face as His/Her brand'. I made a point of not talking about Zeéeeee's looks yesterday in my own post about the photo but this is an interesting non-aggressive non-misogynist piece about movie stars and how shifts to their brand work (or don't).

I was going to link to another Guardian piece about Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's lesbian drama Freeheld experiencing bigotry already banned from filming at a Catholic school but the page started playing really loud Arby's ads (WTH?) so, no. If you appreciate that I don't allow audio ads on this site (unless it's your choice to play the audio as in the sidebar Oscar ads later in the year) than you should maybe donate to the site to help keep us afloat. (see right hand sidebar. Kisses) 

Screen, Superheroics Corner
Pajiba Ming Na-Wen fought herself on last week's Agents of SHIELD for a series highlight. Which other characters should do the same? And yes, the show is actually really good in season 2. Surprise! Last night's episode was really exciting and next week, they'll premiere the trailer to Avengers: Age of Ultron
Comics Alliance talks to Jason Momoa who is excited to embrace his Polynesian heritage as Aquaman. I like Aquaman, and I have no trouble with switching races of known characters - especially when it makes sense (as it would here and similarly I pray to God they don't try to cast a white guy as Iron Fist when they get around to that character since he'd make so much more sense as an Asian). All that said I am not a fan of Jason Momoa - don't respond well to his enormously bulky look and wasn't impressed with him as an actor in Game of Thrones
We Minored in Film Painkiller Jane to get her own movie, possibly beat high profile superheroines to the screen

Off Screen
Vanity Fair Sarah Jessica Parker's unauthorized shoe-stoop photography 
Boy Culture meets Annie Lennox
The Cut The Met's new cleverly titled exhibit on mourning fashions is called "Death Becomes Her". Sadly there is no sidebar exhibit on Madeline Ashton & Helen Sharp. A pity because "I would like... to... talk... about... Madeline Ashton"  

EXODUS: OF COSTUMES AND KINGS
I recently attended a sneak preview of footage from Exodus: Of Gods and Kings. We were shown about 40 minutes of the Biblical epic which seems to be Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments minus Anne Baxter's campiness (pity) remade through the lens of Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Moses is no longer a "splendid adorable fool" but a guylined killing machine (at least in the early action sequence we saw). Ridley Scott's movies are always great looking however they come across otherwise and this one looked suitably gigantic. Especially the plagues and the finale Red Sea chase. I admit I was somewhat distracted worrying about the horses who are dying right and left in these sequences. I will never be able to watch old school war scenes without worrying about the horses, all the pretty horses. Yes I am one of those animal lovers that stays through the end credits to make sure no animals were harmed in the making of anything.

Here's a featurette on the golden costumes by Oscar winner Janty Yates (Gladiator)! She mentions the film's powerful women but they weren't showcased at all in our preview. Sigweavie only got a couple of side-eyes in. I must admit, too, that at our preview I was baffled as to why Sir Ridley kept appearing between the scenes to explain the plot. UM. MOSES. THE BIBLE. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. It's a bit like describing what happens in Noah. Let me guess: Rageful god warning, two animals of every kind, floods!? Actually come to think of it, Moses's story beats are not unlike the Noah template only two animals of every kind is more thousands of only two kinds (frogs/locusts) and the flood is region specific.

Are you planning to see Exodus? Do you like actors in guyliner and gold plated costumes? The latter is a rhetorical question since your answer should be use.

Friday
Oct032014

Linkside Out

All the news stories we didn't get to and/or articles we like with a wee slant toward the stage this morning... itching to see a show again.

Guardian on the homophobic charges against the MPAA. That über obnoxious organization has struck again. Pride is the second gay movie this year without sex scenes or nudity to be slapped with an R rating.
/Film The Twilight Saga may well be back after some short films. When I first heard this news I groaned and rolled my eyes but then I read the plan and it's sort of a support young female filmmakers thing so it sounds kind of cool, actually. Pit that Twilight is so obnoxious 
The Playlist ranks all 35 of David Fincher's music videos. I used to be so obsessed with him because of Madonna. It's possible that I already linked this? I don't know. But their rankings are fairly good.


Vulture says it's been an amazing year for animation. We just haven't realized it yet. It's all those hard to find foreign toons, it is
Rope of Silicon is doing a Best Movies series and looks back at David Fincher's Se7en. That would probably be on my 100 movies list, too
Cinephilia and Beyond looks at Bob Fosse's masterpiece (one of 'em) All That Jazz
My New Plaid Pants bookmarked! Jason tells us about a Montgomery Clift documentary that I didn't even know about
Variety Jane Fonda and Viola Davis are charitable people. They look great together at an annual Rape Foundation brunch

Netflix, the Disrupter
New York Times on the Crouching Tiger sequel Netflix / IMAX deal
CHUD Netflix going into the business of Adam Sandler movies 
Variety wonders what Netflix's motives our with their recent feature film announcements 

Imelda Staunton rehearsing. Photo by Johan PerrsonOn Stage and Film Interest
Broadway World Imelda Staunton is in theaters now in Pride (and she's delightful in it) but she's also returning to the stage. She's in rehearsals for that mammoth role of Mama Rose in a London production of Gypsy. See photo left. 
The Hairpin wonderful personal essay on seeing Lindsay Lohan's stage debut in Speed the Plow
NYC Theater Interesting. The Laura Pels Theater on 46th street will be doing a stripped down production of Into the Woods while the movie plays in theaters. December 18th through March 2015
Theater Mania Audra McDonald might do a film musical!!! She's rumored to be involved in the stage to screen transfer of Michael John Lachiusa's Hello Again. If only someone would push his Wild Party musical to the screen
Playbill Ewan MacGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal just made their Broadway debuts in The Real Thing 
Variety Normally movies that become stage musicals are semi-recent hits. But next Spring Broadway will get Doctor Zhivago, once a super-sized smash movie hit from 1965. The song score combines talent from two fine musicals (The Secret Garden and Grey Gardens) so I'm excited.
Theater Mania David Burtka (NPH's other half) will be doing a cabaret show at my favorite cabaret spot directed by Neil Patrick Harris. I imagine this is the type of thing that people will judge harshly just hearing about it like "connections!" but I've seen Burtka in two stage productions and he's very talented

Three hot & short exit videos to wrap

1. We'll start with the best one. Making a Marie Antoinette style dress out of Sofia Coppolla's Marie Antoinette script. Love this.

2. Here's the first teaser for Inside Out, Pixar's 2015 release. And Pixar would like to remind you that they made it and that they made all those other movies you love to. BTW they were made by Pixar and did I mention that Pixar made this?

 

3. Inherent Vice's trailer which you've probably seen. We would have done a Yes No Maybe So on this one except that the New York Film Festival is in full swing which will render it immediately disposable since there'll be a review this weekend. The voiceover in this trailer reminds me of Annaleigh Ashford (from Masters of Sex) but she's not in the movie. I wonder who the voice belongs to?