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 'zophres'

Inside Llewyn Davis: Interview with Costume Designer Mary Zophres!

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I thought the costumes in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ were so lovely, I just had to ask designer Mary Zophres a few quick questions about her work on the film. Here, she even gifts us with a few of her sources for vintage knits!!  BONUS!  Read on:

What were your discussions like with directors Joel and Ethan Coen about the look of this film? 

Our first discussion involved the intention and that it should feel like a documentary. And that it should have an almost black and white quality to it without shooting in black and white. I also knew it was roughly inspired by Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who never really achieved a lot of fame.

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Inside Llewyn Davis

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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 Big Lebowski: Synopsis

Review Date: 5-23-10

Release Date: 3-6-98

Runtime: 117 min.

Period: early 1990s

Costume designer: Mary Zophres

The Big Lebowski is a film about mistaken identity, but really it all boils down to a soiled rug. There is The Dude (Jeffrey Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges) and there is the Big Lebowski (Jeffrey Lebowski, played by David Huddleston). Their worlds could not be further apart – The Dude being a grade-A slacker, and The Big Lebowski being a millionaire. It is this divide and juxtaposition that makes the film interesting.

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The Big Lebowski: Chris’ Thoughts

Fewer motion pictures have warranted so much over analysis as The Big Lebowski (1998). The Coen Brothers, extraordinarily talented as they are, simply did not write all the hidden meanings that magazines, blogs, and now even books have subscribed to the piece. The Big Lebowski is a far-out fun detective homage, just not as deep as some people think.

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The Big Lebowski – KB’s Thoughts

Review Date: 5-23-10

Release Date: 3-6-98

Runtime: 117 min.

Period: early 1990s

Costume designer: Mary Zophres

This movie is brilliantly designed in that the characters are concisely and efficiently illustrated. These characters are clearly defined from the beginning, and their costumes tell us exactly who they are from the moment we meet them. In this sense, they are archetypes, strongly drawn and easily recognized. For a movie as wacky and all over the place as The Big Lebowski, the visual simplicity of these characters helps the audience to stay engaged.

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The Big Lebowski: CHAT!

Chris from clothesonfilm.com and I sat down to talk about The Big Lebowski, The Dude, weightlifting pants, and French tips.  Read on!

Chris (8.18 am, London time): Good evening.

Kristin B (12.18 am, Los Angeles time): You might love some molasses cookies right now. They are warm from the oven.

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