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 'shirts'

Pennsylvania: Warts and All

COVER

I’m trying to catch up on my movie-watching, as awards season is upon us and those of us who vote need to be informed! Aaaghh! So I’ve recently seen two very interesting Pennsylvania-themed films, Prisoners and Out of the Furnace. Both of these films describe a visual world that (to some people) might seem mundane… but the costumes are brilliant. Check out some images of this very fine work by costume designers Renee April (Prisoners) and Kurt and Bart (Out of the Furnace).

Continue reading ‘Pennsylvania: Warts and All’

Mama

Just some brief thoughts about Mama, since we start shooting on Monday and sadly I don’t have time to do a full review. It’s a scary movie, mostly contemporary with a few flashbacks to the 1880s. Bottom line – BRAVO for the great use of the three-wolf t-shirt. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, Frocktalkers, but watch the movie and spot the three-wolf t-shirt. Also nicely done: the Misfits t-shirts on Jessica Chastain. The overall look of the movie was augmented by great moody lighting and desaturation of the colors in the film (probably in post). The little girls are precious and also creepy, particularly the youngest daughter Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse). It’s a scary movie, but I thought it was pretty mild, actually. It’s a clean PG-13, and the costumes are interesting for sure! Look for the three-wolf t-shirt – it actually made me say “oooh!” out loud in the theater! Nice work, (costume designer) Luis Sequeira, and congrats to the entire costume team!

– KMB

Argo

Review Date: 10-14-12

Release Date: 10-12-12

Runtime: 120 minutes

Period: 1979 – 1980

Costume Designer: Jacqueline West

In 1979, Americans working at the US Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage.  Six of them escaped and sought refuge at the home of the Canadian Ambassador.  One man helped them out of Iran.  This is the premise of Argo.  Based on the true-life story of CIA agent Tony Mendez, the film is gripping, absorbing, and kind of a nail biter.  It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in some time, and the costumes and characterizations are top notch.

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Bernie

Review Date: 5-11-12

Release Date: 5-4-12 (expanded)

Runtime: 104 min.

Period: contemporary

Costume Designer: Kari Perkins

Bernie is a fantastic movie based on a true story. I first heard about this film via Joe Rhodes’ excellent NY Times article How My Aunt Marge Ended Up in the Deep Freeze There were two pictures accompanying the article – one, of the real Bernie and Marjorie Nugent, and the other of Jack Black as Bernie and Shirley MacLaine as Nugent. The costumes on Black and MacLaine sent me rocketing skyward with glee. I knew I had to see this film as soon as I could, based on the costumes alone. However, after reading the article, I knew I needed to see it because the truth of this story is stranger than fiction!

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Animal Kingdom

Review date: 8-15-10

Release date: 8-13-10 (limited)

Runtime: 112 min.

Period: Contemporary

Costume Designer: Cappi Ireland

Animal Kingdom is an Australian film about a teenaged boy embroiled in his family’s vengeful, criminal enterprise. It is remarkable for its compelling story and strong performances, and for the fact that it was helmed by a first-timer, David Michôd. This is a tale of familial dysfunction on a Shakespearean (or even Greek) level, but it takes place in present-day Melbourne. This is a gritty, greasy, smelly, violent film… just like I like them.

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Cool Exhibit Alert – Brokeback Mountain

Hello, frocktalkers – an interesting article today in the LA Times – the shirts from Brokeback Mountain (costumes deigned by Marit Allen) are on display at the Autry Center for Western Heritage in beautiful Griffith Park.  It’s a nice article about these important, sentimental, iconic costumes… read on…

LA TIMES ARTICLE

And stay tuned for another dueling banjos review this weekend – it’s a real humdinger!

–KMB



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