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 'movie costumes'

The Princess Bride: CHAT!!

After watching and reviewing The Princess Bride, Maggie and I sat down to chat about its many virtues.  And along the way, we detoured into DragonCon, auctions, Monty Python, Lord of the Rings, and Mandy Patinkin’s drunken Spaniard hotness.  Read on!

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Working, Working, Working

I have been working, working, working on some cool stuff for you, Frocktalk readers!!!  Tomorrow you will get to experience another “dueling banjos” review between Maggie of The Costumers Guide and myself, on one of our mutually-favorite films!!  I have also been scrambling to get a tribute to Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson together, as they are both huge pop culture (and costume) icons.  It was a sad day on Thursday, and our thoughts and prayers go out to their grieving friends and families.  Additionally, I have some great interviews up my sleeve, and can’t wait to share them with you.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Dueling Banjo review and have a great weekend!!!


Awardsapalooza: SATURN AWARDS

Congratulations to Mary Zophres, who won a SATURN Award (handed out last night by the Academy of Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films) for her costume design in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a film that had been largely overlooked by critics and awards ceremonies, but was not overlooked here.  That, friends, is a triumph!! It is so good to see Mary recognized for her work – CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Being There – Sketches

Okay, so I am apologizing for not posting a review yet – it has been a crazy week, and an even crazier weekend.  Look for something special this coming weekend, though – another tag-team effort with Maggie from The Costumer’s Guide!!  In the meantime, I will tell you that I was shocked to find these sketches from Being There in the lobby of our very own Costume Designers Guild, IATSE Local 892!

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The Brothers Bloom

Review Date: 5-31-09
Release Date: 5-15-09 (limited)
Runtime: 113 min.
Period: Contemporary
Costume Designer:  Beatrix Aruna Pasztor

I heard some early buzz about this film after the Toronto Film Festival last fall, but didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I entered the theater.  It’s kind of a standard con/caper movie, but the story is told in a manner that is visually and stylistically quite refreshing.  The costumes are ridiculously beautiful, and I hope the film gets a wider release so that everyone can appreciate it.  This might be the longest, most detailed review ever, but man it is totally worth it.  At least, I think so.

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Coming Home

Review Date:  10-23-08
Release Date:  2-15-1978
Runtime:  127 min.
Period: 1968
Costume Designer: Ann Roth

I think maybe it would be worthwhile to do a Hal Ashby retrospective here on Frocktalk.  At minimum, I will hit the big ones, Harold and Maude, Shampoo, Bound For Glory, in addition to Being There, and this incredible film, Coming Home.  Hal Ashby was a great director; he just had a certain knack for getting the best performances out of the best actors, and for making films that haunt, resonate, and entertain.   We lost Hal Ashby twenty years ago, too early, to cancer.  His work lives on forever, and we celebrate his legacy here at Frocktalk.
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Swimming With Sharks

Review Date: 2-25-09
Release Date: 3-21-1995
Runtime: 101 min.
Period: Contemporary, 1995
Costume Designer: Kirsten Everberg

Rex: This is not a business; this is show business. Punching below the belt is not only all right, it’s rewarded.

In celebration of Oscars week, and all things Hollywood, I thought Swimming With Sharks would be an appropriate choice for this week’s review.  The film is not just about the film industry, it is about the abuse of authority and position that is present in all fields, and the backlash that occurs when the victims reach their breaking point.
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The Sweet Hereafter: Interview with Costume Designer Beth Pasternak

Photo Courtesy Beth Pasternak

Photo Courtesy Beth Pasternak

It is my distinct pleasure to share with you the conversation I had with costume designer Beth Pasternak about her wonderful work on The Sweet Hereafter, one of my favorite contemporary movies vis-à-vis costume design.  She has some great insight and some interesting stories!  Read on:

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Buy Your Favorite Screen-Worn Costumes!

Costume worn by Alice Eve in Crossing Over

Costume worn by Alice Eve in Crossing Over

I am not sure whether to file this under “cool” or “kinda creepy”, because while collecting movie memorabilia is cool, it is a little creepy to see a website selling your work, and your hand-written costume tags, for a price. And to not even know that they are selling your stuff….?  Kinda strange.
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Being There

Could not get permission from the studio to use stills or screen-caps; hence: Chachi.

Could not get studio permission for any stills or screen caps, hence: Chachi.

Review Date: 10-23-08
Release Date: 12-19-1979
Runtime: 130 min.
Period: Contemporary, 1979
Costume Designer: May Routh

Being There is a fascinating journey in to the life of a mentally challenged man, mistaken for a profound thinker.  I couldn’t help but make the connection to some films (Forrest Gump, W) that borrowed thematically from this beautiful movie – it’s really worth a look.  It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s galling at times, and Peter Sellers delivers an elegant performance, worthy of the notice it received when the film was released.
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