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! **

Tag Archive for 'john'

Inside Llewyn Davis

Poster

 

If you work in the arts, you probably know someone like Llewyn Davis… someone who has a boatload of talent, but can’t seem to stop self-sabotaging. The Coen Brothers make use of this archetype – the slacker who just can not, for the love of God, get on with it – in their tale of the early 1960s folk music scene in New York City. The movie is really interesting, though at times frustrating to watch, mostly because you just want to punch Llewyn in the face and tell him to get it together. The costumes (by designer Mary Zophres) are wonderful, and there is a very cute ginger kitty who steals just about every scene he’s in.

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The Exorcist – Live at the Geffen Playhouse

I have a particular fondness for the “scary movie” genre, having designed many of these kinds of films in my career. When I heard that the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles was going to be putting up a production of perhaps one of the most famous (and scary) movies of all time – The Exorcist – I knew I had to see it. How do you translate the fear, horror, and especially special effects (head spinning, projectile vomiting, crab walking and defying gravity) of the original film to the stage? I was really curious.

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Fitting Pictures Save Reputations!!!

Fitting pictures: not just for work anymore!!  In the case of John Travolta, fitting pictures from his new project Killing Season may shoot down any chance of Lawsuit #1 from ever seeing the light of day.  Among other things, Lawsuit #1 alleges that Travolta was in Los Angeles on January 16, 2012.  But thanks to some time-and-date-stamped fitting photos from the film, with additional backup witnesses of costume designer Denise Wingate and her crew, the allegation proves to be totally untrue.  Costume department saves the day!  Thanks, Denise, for showing these opportunistic bottom-feeders how beautiful fitting photos can be.  See articles about the fitting photos HERE and HERE. Keep up the good work!

– KMB

And Now, a Break From Awards Season!

Hello, Frocktalkers!  Now that we’ve all had a moment to breathe after the big awards season push, I have some new things for you!  First, I have written another book – this time, a cookbook.  It’s a benefit for my friend, production designer John Johnson, who is battling pancreatic cancer.  He is on a vegan diet, and I cooked up a ton of food for him, and thought, hey wait a second! And a cookbook was born.  If you are vegan, or want to try it, this is your book! Please spread the word – all proceeds go to John and his wife to defray medical costs.  Thanks in advance for your support!  It means a lot.

BUY THE BOOK HERE!

– KMB

The Road

Review Date: 11-30-09

Release Date: 11-25-09

Runtime: 112 min.

Period: Future, post-apocalypse

Costume Designer: Margot Wilson

The Road is a film based on the 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy. Set in post-apocalyptic America, it is the story of a father and son’s journey through a desolate wasteland, literally and figuratively. Thematically, the film deals with one’s purpose in life, the reason for living, and our interdependence – not only on our ecosystem, but also on each other. This movie is difficult to watch, but it is profoundly moving.

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Adventures in Costuming: Sales and Stuff!

This week, the big news is that the Fred Segal sale is on. At both locations (though they are not related) you will find merchandise on sale at about a 50% discount. The sale will run approximately two weeks, and at some point they may raise the ante, providing discounts of 75%.

For the uninitiated:

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Saturday Night Fever – Synopsis

Review Date: 8-6-09    

Release Date:  12-16-77

Runtime: 118 min.

Period: Contemporary, 1977

Costume Designer: Patrizia von Brandenstein  

Tony Manero is a nineteen-year-old Brooklyn paint store clerk by day, living with his parents.  At night, however, he rules the dance floor at the 2001: Odyssey dance club.  Saturday Night Fever describes his existence, straddling these two worlds, and coming to terms with the expectations his family has for him and his siblings.  Saturday Night Fever is, in the end, much more than great dancing and an iconic soundtrack; it is about growing up, being accountable for one’s actions, and taking responsibility for one’s own life and happiness.

**  NB:  This film is rated R, and the plot described herein may not be appropriate for kids. **

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Saturday Night Fever – Chris’ Review

Chris from the UK blog  Clothes on Film gives his insight on this iconic film…

Sleazy sex, drugs, violence, foul language, rape, racism, homophobia, suicide – if you only remember Saturday Night Fever for its Bee Gees soundtrack and lurid fashions, you’re in for a serious shock. This is one of the bleakest, yet most compelling movies of the seventies.

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Saturday Night Fever – KB’s Review

 

Review Date: 8-6-09

Release Date:  12-16-77

Runtime: 118 min.

Period: Contemporary, 1977

Costume Designer: Patrizia von Brandenstein

 

I love this movie.  It is so dark, and at the time it was released, tapped into the zeitgeist of a large, young part of our population.  In a post-cultural-revolution reality, with a culture embracing its own diversity at last, along comes a movie that talks about all of it.  In Saturday Night Fever, we find forums for discussion about everything from women’s lib to racism – hot topics at the time – and yes, these issues are carried out, expressed and explored in the costumes.

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Saturday Night Fever: KB & Chris’ Chat

 

 

Chris from Clothes on Film and I sat down to discuss this iconic movie, the regional aspect of culture, Angel’s Flight pants and Gunne Sax.  Read on…

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