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 'west'

A Million Ways to Die in the West & Maleficent: Interpreting History & Lore

Maleficent-Million-Ways-to-Die-in-the-West

I saw two movies today – OMG, stop the presses.  I finally got some “KB Time” and took advantage of it.  Bolstering the box office numbers for this weekend’s biggest contenders, I saw them both.  There are some interesting parallels, in terms of the costumes, and here’s how I see it:

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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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R.I.P., The Wiz 1947 – 2011

Mike Norman, aka "The Wiz", with his lovely wife Debbie.
Mike Norman, aka “The Wiz”, with his lovely wife Debbie at the 2011 CDG Awards.

Dear Frocktalkers, it is with heavy heart that I tell you of the passing of one of our industry’s best friends. Mike Norman, AKA “the Wiz” has lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2011, and we will miss him forever.

I was lucky enough to have known him for many years. He was a very intelligent person, philosophical in nature, and a self-admitted “dirty old man”. He was never gross about it – he was the playful, light-hearted, irreverent whippersnapper to the end – charming, witty, and always thought provoking. My heart is breaking for his family.

Beyond his charismatic personality, he was a gifted artist on our behalf. The Wiz, with his Wizard Screen Printing, helped so many of us meet our deadlines with beautiful results. The Wiz would turn things around on a dime, fix other peoples’ bad work, generally saving the day with a growl and a grin.

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