Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Week’s End Wrap-up: Congrats to Keira & James, and I Heart You, Gavin Polone.

Working in this business is all-consuming, and often it takes weeks to get your life together after you’ve been out of town for a few months on a job.  As I sift through two trash bags’ worth of mail, unpack box after box, and do laundry for what seems like weeks, I am reminded that this is my privilege.  We can complain and carp about the crazy hours, lack of budget and bad food, or whatever makes you whine and moan, but at the end of the day, we should realize that it is a privilege to do this kind of artistic work for a living.  We make amazing friends, and we have the BEST STORIES EVER for cocktail parties and (eventually) for the nursing home and/or our salacious memoirs.

Along the lines of amazing friends and wonderful people, I am sending out a HUGE congratulations to Keira Knightley and her new fiance James Righton on their engagement.  I had the pleasure of working with Keira (who, by the way, is a dream-come-true and living angel) last summer on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and James was with us for a good portion of shooting.  He and I spent hours in the Pasadena sun tye-dyeing fabric, making handbags, telling stories – he’s such a wonderful guy and I could not be happier for both of them!!  This news has truly put a Louis Armstrong “What a Wonderful World” smile on my face!  Score one for the good guys!!  YaaaahhhhooooO!OO!O!O!!!!!

My new-found love and appreciation for film and TV producer Gavin Polone comes today from an article he wrote for Vulture.com.  Mr. Polone is a decorated, celebrated producer… and he also writes columns for Vulture and New York Magazine.  I kind of love him just for that, but what he has to say in his latest column is what I have been talking about, and meaning to write about, for some time: extraordinary hours, the kind we work in this business, are dangerous to one’s health.  What’s cool (and unusual) about Polone is that he actually surveyed his crew, interviewing people like the script supervisor and transpo captain, about how the long hours affected their lives.  ARTICLE HERE.

Aspiring producers take note:  This is how you become a legend and a superhero in your field.  Ask your crew about their experience, their needs, their lives.  Endeavor to understand your crew as people and artists, and try to understand their perspective.  It will make you a better producer.  Thank you, Gavin Polone, for figuring that out, and for setting a good example.  I will hug you when I see you; I’m just warning you now.  I might squeeze you extra hard.  I’ve been working out.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend if you are in the states, and if not, enjoy the last throes of May!

– KMB

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