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 'period'

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Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master

I am a very lucky girl to be able to bring you interviews like this one.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Mark Bridges yesterday, and have transcribed our conversation for you.  Please grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?  Mark tells me all about The Master, his methodology, and merkins.  Yes, merkins.  I enjoyed this so much, I hope to bring you other breakfast-style interviews in the future.  Big thanks to Mark for joining me for some toad-in-the-hole and coffee – it was lovely, and very entertaining!  Please note that there are spoilers in this interview, so if you want to be surprised by the film, read this after you see it!  But if you can’t wait… read on~

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The Master

Review Date: 9-16-12

Release Date: 9-21-12

Runtime: 137 minutes

Period: Post-WWII – 1950

Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for boundary-pushing films: Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood… and he doesn’t just push, but rather he shoves The Master into uncharted territory. This is a film so raw, it bleeds. The performances will make your heart skip a beat. The plot reveals itself in bursts, like a puzzle of sorts. In the press, cast and crew have denied that this film is about Scientology. However, after viewing the film, it appears to be a poem composed in elegiac vignettes related to L. Ron Hubbard, the religion he founded, and the people who were central to his purpose.

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Downton Abbey is COMMMINNNNGGGG!!!!

I know.  My enthusiasm is ridiculous.  I love this show.  It begins again in the UK tomorrow, but we in the US of A are going to have to wait an entire, devastating, painful month before we can see it here.  UGH!!!  Frocktalker and friend Maggie pointed out this article HERE and wow, it has all of our engines revving.  BRING IT ON, DOWNTON ABBEY!!!

– KMB

Behind the Scenes: COPPER

Eagle-eyed Frocktalker Laura sent me this link.  It’s really cool!  New series COPPER (airs Sunday, August 19th at 10PM on BBC America) has some amazing costumes – 1860s New York City – and you can learn more about them HERE!  I can’t wait to watch the show, and congrats to costume designer Delphine White for the great work!

– KMB

Jane Eyre

Frocktalkers, honestly, this is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Beyond the stunning, beautifully realized costumes, the performances are top notch, and this classic story will melt your heart!!!

Charlotte Brontë’s work comes alive in this film – titular character Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) comes to work as a governess for the enigmatic and gruff Rochester (the heart-stopping Michael Fassbender). It’s a love story, it’s a mystery, and it is drop dead gorgeous.

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Awardsapalooza 2010-2011: It Begins!!

Well, you know it’s awards season when you start receiving “For Your Consideration” ads in the mail. The winner of First Advertising Mailer of the Season goes to: How To Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks). Yes, it’s animated. But that doesn’t stop Dreamworks from asking us costume designers for our consideration. The winner of First DVD of the Season goes to: Alice in Wonderland (Disney). Big corporations spend millions of dollars each year asking us to consider projects for awards. Are they worthy? What about the smaller films that can’t afford awards advertising? Are they somehow less worthy? Awards season always makes me uncomfortable and slightly agitated for this reason.

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Bright Star

Review Date: 11-21-09

Release Date: 9-18-09 (U.S., limited)

Runtime: 119 min.

Costume Designer: Janet Patterson

Okay, I said I wasn’t going to write about “Oscar Bait” movies, but I need to write about this one. I am fairly certain that even with its healthy per-screen average (opening weekend approximately $10K per screen), this film isn’t being seen. Just to give you the brief snapshot: It’s about John Keats, the poet. It’s set in England in 1818, and it’s directed by Jane Campion. Come on.

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Julie and Julia


Review Date: 8-16-09
Release Date: 8-7-09
Runtime: 123 min.
Period: Contemporary (2002) and 1949 France – 1961 Connecticut
Costume Designer:  Ann Roth

I love Stanely Tucci.  I went out to dinner with a friend of mine last week, and upon hearing that we had both recently seen Julie and Julia, we exclaimed at the same time, “I love Stanley Tucci!!!”  This is a movie about food goddess Julia Child (Meryl Streep), cubicle mouse Julie Powell (Amy Adams), and the parallels between the lives of the legend and the frustrated woman who wants to be her.  Streep and Adams have garnered rave reviews for their work in this film, and they handily deserve the attention.  I thought the movie was charming and fantastic.  However, I stick by my love of Stanley Tucci – he is an understated hero in this film, and I’ll tell you why.

Oh yes, and Ann Roth did the costumes, so you know already know that they are brilliant.
Continue reading ‘Julie and Julia’

Cool Costume Alert! Seen at Western!!

 

One of my Frocktalk spies came upon these fabulous costumes in the return rack at Western Costume.  Aren’t they AWESOME?!  Evidently these were used in a play in London.  I can’t seem to get the back story as to who designed them, or what play it was, but they appear to be of a vague Napoleonesque vibe.  How cool that they colored this fabric with MARKERS to get the texture??  My spy tells me that the fabric is a heavy canvas, almost a cotton duck, and that all of the buttons, embellishments, etc., are drawn in with markers.  Inspired!!!

More pictures after the jump…

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