Monday, 29 December 2008
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
Monday, 10 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
But yesterday I drove over a 100 miles to Warwick Arts Centre to attend a screening of Plein Soleil (1960)a French film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. Highsmith commented that Plein Soleil was "very beautiful to the eye and interesting for the intellect", although she took issue with the ending.
Adapted and directed by René Clément, Tom Ripley is played by Alain Delon. The screening of this film was in the context of a talk by Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson on fashion and film criminals entitled 'If Looks could Kill'.
Alain Delon is pure evil in the film but equally he is pure male beauty. It is a stark contrast to Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) as Tom Ripley is extremely cold and also the most beautiful person on screen, compared to Minghella's where Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Dickie (Jude Law) are the eye candy.
The talk focused on the typical cinema criminal most notably the gangster and their appropriation of the suit, how a gangster is obvious with their flamboyant use of dress and the vanity associated with dress. The gangster always admires himself in the mirror and will always see his tailor upon release from jail before his 'gal'. The narcissistic quality of dress is integral to Plein Soleil and Alain Delon's portrayal of Tom Ripley, being a French film you can imaging the quality of the style right down to the very Italian Riviera white leather Gucci loafers which are so soft and delectable you can almost feel their quality from the screen. The cinematography and colour is outstanding in this film
Highsmith was disappointed with the film's ending, calling it "a terrible concession to so-called public morality." However Clement had constructed such a cold, evil, narcissistic and beautiful Ripley in Plein Soleil it seemed the creator needed to reign him in.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Cool Hand Luke
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Long Hot Summer
Absence of Malice
Winning - in fact I loved car racing due to this film and Steve McQueen's Le Mans, Newman and McQueen both kings of cool as an aside they are two of the finest American actors of all-time, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman dominated the often underrated classic films of the 1960’s and eventually starred together in the 1974 disaster picture The Tower Inferno. After the Inferno, McQueen who battled cancer, only made a few more films, with Tom Horn his final role before his 1980 death.
The Sting and Butch Cassiday and the Sunshine Kid for his unadulterated charm.
The Colour of Money
Road to Perdition - how fine did he look
and who can forget his brilliant voice over as Doc Hudson in Cars.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Here is a link to his obituary
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
After my Mrs Ritchie post, and with the release of RockNRolla this Friday I felt it was time to give the lads a viewing on fashion and film.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) is of a genre that fitted with a certain London look and it has a certain nostalgic feel aka the Krays. Essentially four London working class stiffs pool their money to put one in a high stakes card game, but things go wrong and they end up owing half a million pounds and having one week to come up with the cash. The essence of the film with its twists and turns and a sort of sting/heist which preceded the glam Hollywood version of Oceans Eleven.
What you get with Lock Stock is a lads film during a time in the UK where lads and ladettes ruled. The sharp suits and coats, the location setting including Borough market, with some classic cars thrown in and the movie sold style and chance to a nation.
Monday, 18 August 2008
Ok given Madonna is 50 I've selected her first film, the film along with her fledgling music career at this point (1985) that sealed her forever in our radar.
I've nabbed a brief synopsis to remind you of the plot -'Taken-for-granted housewife Roberta passes the time following the progress of Susan who regularly contacts her boyfriend Jim through the Personals. When she sees the two are meeting in New York Roberta goes along, ending up buying Susan's coat. Finding a locker key in the pocket she in turn advertises for a meeting with Susan. Jim sends his projectionist pal along to see what is going on, and when Roberta knocks herself out he assumes she is Susan. Then things start to get complicated.'It wasn't a great film and it wasn't a dreadful film. The main departure for this film was the central placing of two female characters - they were the pivotal points and this is notable in itself. Thelma and Lousie in 1991 is again remarkable for its two female leads and what is viewed with as a break from tradition.
The costume designer Santo Loquasto designed Madonna's character Susan's leather pyramid jacket. In reality Madonna was chosen for her sense of style - after Madonna's first screen test, the producers asked her to take four weeks of acting lessons and get screen-tested again. Although the second screen test wasn't much of an improvement, the director still wanted her for the role, for her presence and sense of style more than anything else. Susan Seidalman also directed 3 episodes of Sex and the City in 1998. It was the sense of style and New York that defiend Desperately Seeking Susan. It felt like an indie film even though it wasn't.
Rosanna Arquette actually won a BAFTA for best supporting actress - technically if you count footage and dialogue she was the lead! Madonna hey irrepressible then as now!
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Friday, 4 July 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
A bit of a theme emerging with the second selection being another French film. It differs greatly from Truffant's 'Jules et Jim' but it is considered a new wave film. Often referred to as a New new wave film.
Diva is probably one of the coolest films I've seen, director Beineix introduced the audience to loft house apartments before anyone knew they needed to live in one, quirkiness on a grand scale, individualism and diversity in fashion before other film directors. The wardrobe could be described as a malfunction with its range of punkishness, the ska influenced psuedo classic look of the hitmen to the Grecian classical outfits of the opera singer and the youth new wave street look of Jules, the main character.
The wardrobe led the way for the French and Western society in general to accept the major changes and influence that was to come from a wider cultural mix due to immigration and the youth street style culture. The film caputures perfectly the blend of traditional with pioneering clothing.
Diva received a mutated response in France but gained critical acclaim a year later when released in the States. It is a cult classic. The character of Alba, a Vietnamese shoplifter predates Madonna's Susan in 'Desperately Seeking Susan'. That's how cool Diva is, everyone stole from it.
Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez is stunning as the opera diva.