Oscars Week: DTSFT’s Oscars 2014 Drinking Game

It had to be done.

After conducting hours about 15 minutes of research, we have come up with could quite possibly be the ULTIMATE OSCARS DRINKING GAME EVAH!*

So pour a glass/crack open a bottle of your favourite tipple (or soft drink – we don’t discriminate) and brace yourselves!

drunk in love

Word of advice – make sure you know exactly what it is you’re drinking. There are no labels on these bottles, you bunch of maniacs!

TAKE A SIP WHEN:

Someone on the red carpet is wearing Marchesa, Elie Saab or Reem Accra (all of them fabulous designers, might we add)

On the red carpet someone has brought their mum

On the red carpet, Ryan Seacrest says something stupid/unfunny… (might want to set aside a whole bottle for that one)

ryan seacrest

…and the person he is interviewing reacts in a “What the hell?” kind of way

On the red carpet, Giuliana Rancic says “Oh my God you look so beautifuuuul!” or something similar

On the red carpet a man is asked “who he is wearing”

P Diddy shows up

TAKE TWO SIPS WHEN:

Ellen DeGeneres starts a dance party

Ellen DeGeneres makes a joke about Leonardo DiCaprio not winning an Oscar

Ellen DeGeneres makes a joke about Pharrell Williams’ mountain ranger hat

56th GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet

There is a shot of Bradley Cooper and Suki Waterhouse (just to remind us all that YES HE IS TAKEN)

There is a shot of Benedict Cumberbatch smiling/laughing/waving (on the red carpet and/or during the ceremony)

There is a shot of Michael Fassbender rocking that beard (on the red carpet and/or during the ceremony)

dancing

KNOCK IT BACK WHEN:

Leonardo DiCaprio wins

leo

Lupita Nyong’o wins

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There is a standing ovation

Ellen DeGeneres makes a Shia LeBoeuf joke

Someone’s speech goes on for too long and the music starts playing

That someone makes a comment that the music has started playing

There is a shot of Jennifer Lopez (on the red carpet/and or at the ceremony), seeing as she always turns up to these things

Jennifer Lawrence does something apparently “adorkable” (again, you might need a whole bottle)

stupid face

None, some or all of these things might happen, but whatever does happen, we hope you have fun trying this out – and don’t worry, we’ll be doing it too!

What else could we drink to?

Hannah

drunk in love

Note: drinking game does not guarantee that you will be “drunk in love”

*OK, maybe not ever. I was drunk when I wrote that part.**

**I wasn’t.

What’s The Score: Oscars Week Special – Her

The third film in the Oscars Week Special series of What’s The Score is ‘Her’, starring Joaquin Phoenix and sort-of Scarlett Johansson.

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I couldn’t find different tracks of the score of this film cut up into cues the way they often are online, and it’s probably better this way – firstly, I’m not sure if this score necessarily deserves the nomination, and secondly it’s one hell of a long film to be picking out cues from.  Okay it’s 2 hours but I have a short attention span. So for this one, we’re going for general comments on the overall score, picking out bits and pieces. The entire score is available on Youtube as a suite, and is actually really lovely to listen to as one continuous piece of work.

Owen Pallet and William Butler’s score (worked on by Arcade Fire, the work tying in to some of the songs on Reflektor) uses a lot of synths and electronic sounds without being cold and sterile, which is sometimes the effect those things have.  Slow building layers of muted, gentle motifs and drones have a soothing warmth to them, while at the same time creating a kind of melancholy feeling.  I love the combination of old and new sounds, like the droning bass strings with the synths – it goes so well with the subject of the film, how (and if) this human relationship would work with one half being a purely digital partner.

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When Theodore is talking to Samantha and goes to work at his job (writing custom-made love letters for people) the music is all on the piano, it’s simple and light, and later in the film Samantha starts to write her own piano music as she ‘learns’ to be more human.

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In the fairground scene, the synths take over briefly with a repetitive and energetic, yet never overpowering score that helps to move things along as Theodore is instructed to move and turn by Samantha via his earphones.

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The slow, tentative music that accompanies scenes of Theodore’s loneliness is church-like, almost mournful even. A little later, the music does take a bolder role in the scene when Samantha and Theodore have what can only be described as phone sex (even though Samantha doesn’t have… you know, she doesn’t…okay). There are insistent strings that seem to sigh, with higher strings dancing around one another with no real melody, soaring as the scene reaches its, er, climax.

There’s a passage where ukelele music plays over the a montage with Samantha and Theodore’s vocals joining in later, which is corny but nice touch – they’re in a cabin instead of the metropolitan city that Theodore lives in, so being away from the tech-focused is reflected in this folksy, simple little duet.

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When he finds he can’t connect to Samantha, the score becomes darker, more tense and relies on the electronics a bit more; harsh, dissonant chords accompany Theodore as he runs frantically to find out what’s wrong.

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Once Samantha and Theodore have parted ways, the score is dominated by the strings and more traditionally harmonic music, like Theodore is getting back to the real world.  The harmonies and chords move around a sustained note, which establishes a sense of hopefully yearning and suggest that for Theodore, there will be life and love after Her.

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Saw This And Thought It Was Cool: Oscars Edition

I was trawling Twitter at work and Jezebel.com had something that was just too awesome not to share – an ‘infographic’ containing every single ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winner ever, including this year’s ‘Best Picture’ Oscar nominees, which I’ve put below. This should definitely be made into a poster (if it hasn’t been done already). I’ve managed to work out what some of them are, but how many can you recognise?

Hannah

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What’s The Score?: Oscars Week Special – Philomena

Next up in our series of Oscars week specials, I’m taking a look at Alexandre Desplat’s score for Philomena. This is Desplat’s sixth Academy Award nomination for best score, so could this be the one that finally wins it for him? Again, I’ll be looking at a handful of cues rather than the whole score.

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There’s a lot of plot information laid out for us in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the film; character backgrounds and histories are provided through montages and flashbacks including the turning point in Philomena’s own life in 1951 when she falls pregnant after having unprotected sex with a man she meets at a fair. Desplat establishes both Martin and Philomena’s themes in the cues ‘Martin’ and ‘Philomena’ which play in part during these opening scenes to accompany their corresponding characters.  Here is Philomena’s theme:

You can hear the combination of instruments is reminiscent of fairground music, with the plodding bass adding movement, bouncing the piece along under the gentle but insistent syncopated, sometimes whirling melody of the strings. It is simultaneously whimsical and haunting, which to me reflects Philomena’s own nature and how her story progresses – she is a sweet lady with a tragic past, and the piece because more minor oriented as it goes on, ending on a minor chord.  Desplat himself explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

I orchestrated this melody in a way that reminds us, or echoes this sound of a fair organ using recorders, bass clarinets, strings, and harmonics, and it gives an eerie and haunting sound as if this music was a ghost all long in the film, ghosting her.This [melody] is reminding her of what happened and the pain and the loss and actually reminding us, the audience, to share in the pain and the tragedy.

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In contrast, here’s Martin’s theme:

This is the first theme heard, as we see a montage of news clips explaining how his career with the Labour party ended, while Martin takes up running as instructed by his doctor. Strings provide the melody and the bass, with the piano punctuating proceedings with arpeggios and bouncing chords, and towards the middle and towards the end we get harps and plucked strings to break up the somewhat serious feeling. His music is faster paced, alternating between short scalic motifs and sweeping movements all played over steady, repetitive strings playing in fifths and octaves – it leaves scope for the tone to meandre between major and minor if you leave out the third, so this tonality combined with the urgency created in the faster tempo gives us a sense of possibility – for Martin’s career and for his meeting with Philomena.  Interestingly, his theme is interrupted by a Catholic hymn in the scene in the church, and only starts again once he decides to step outside. Perhaps a suggestion that his life is about to be interrupted by Philomena’s?

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The music in this film never overpowers the scene, which given the emotional moments could be tempting for a composer to do. But Desplat’s score never really does that, because the story is understated yet powerful enough that it doesn’t need a swooping, overwrought orchestral score, such as the emotional scene when Anthony is adopted and Philomena calls out in vain to get him back; the music is simple, building with low strings, harmonics and guitar notes as the scene builds to Philomena realising Anthony is about to be taken away, followed by a few slow strings playing part of Philomena’s theme and some light piano notes.

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Most of the material is weaved in and out in the score, used in different variations for different scenes and there’s actually a substantial percentage of the film that has no music at all.  In ‘Quiet Time, To Pete’s’, where Philomena proposes that they go back to England, the music is builds with light but somewhat urgent harp music, the most predominant use of the harp in the score yet – this refers to what is about to happen in the plot, the reveal that Anthony/Michael wore a Celtic harp pin on his lapel as an homage to his heritage, which gives Philomena more hope to continue with her journey to visit her deceased son’s lover. It’s a clever, if not obvious inclusion in the score.

While it’s not the most dramatic or innovative score out of all the nominees this year, I can see how Desplat’s soundtrack earned its place on the list. It would be great for him to finally win after so many nominations and such a fantastic body of work, but like Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, I don’t think this is his best work and so this probably won’t be his year.

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Happy Nolan Day!

Hey Revenge fans!

Firstly, I’m sorry I haven’t written a post in the past two weeks, I’ve been busy at work and when I got home I was too nakkered to do anything. But never fear! It’s back, and Nolan brought out the glad rags again for Emily and Daniel’s wedding shower.

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He went back to the smart blazer and fancy scarf combo, which I really love – the decorative pattern on the scarf adds a bit of sophisticated glitz to what would have been just a smart suit.

Nolan’s also been rocking the lounge wear pretty hard. Since his split with Patrick, his emotional state seems to be reflected in what he wears: he’s just thrown on anything that is comfortable for moping around the house in, and there are no jazzy Nolan flourishes, just plain, block colours. But as plain as they are, they still go together quite well, which shows that he is still fashion savvy. If he’s going to feel depressed, he might as well look good doing it!

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I hope Nolan finds somebody again soon, preferably someone who isn’t a traitor or a murderer – I can’t deal when he’s like this! 😦

‘Surrender’ airs on Monday 3rd March at 9pm.

Hannah

P.S. WHAT a comeback at the end of this week’s episode!

What’s The Score?: Oscars Week Special – Gravity

First off, I should say that these editions of What’s The Score will be significantly shorter than the previous ones (the world cheers!), because they take a while to do and I’m trying to do one for each of the nominated original scores. Guys, that’s five WTS posts. I’m only one huge woman. So these will be condensed overview versions looking at a couple of important cues, rather than the closer looks I try to do normally – also, these are scores that have been nominated for an Academy Award, so there is already information out there about the soundtracks because they are obviously worth writing about. This is just my DTSFT take.

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to Steven Price for winning the 2014 Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on Gravity!

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So first up, Gravity.

There are clips on Youtube with the score, but here’s the URL for the soundtrack on Spotify (you’ll need a Spotify account), and check out this preview from Soundcloud:

If you get this film on DVD or watch it on your laptop, whatever you do make sure that you either use headphones or a good surround sound system. Steven Price’s quite frankly brilliant score is meant to envelop you and create a simultaneous feeling of claustrophobia and expansiveness, which has been achieved by some masterful sound engineering and editing.

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One of the things that makes this score so effective is the contrast between the loud and quiet moments in the film. Right from the off, we start with some words on screen telling us that there’s basically nothing in space apart from, well, space. In about 30 seconds, we go from quiet to ear-crunchingly loud  over the title screen and then the sound cuts off – we’ve been reminded that there is no way for sound to carry in space, then we have no background score under the dialogue, which is transmitted through radios between the characters.  This is actually one track called ‘Above Earth’ split in half, the other half starting when Kowalski stops to appreciate the view of Earth. There are a few instances in this film where the beautiful, appreciative shots of Earth from space are accompanied by this quiet, sweeping and reflective music. It’s space porn, quite frankly.

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‘Debris’  cues up as the team get their orders from Houston to abort the mission, and here Price equates dynamics and volume with speed and distance; starting with an ominous and low two-note motif that repeats and builds tension, the music gradually builds with a shrill, rising chord as the debris starts to rush past and devastate the telescope. There’s a string ostinato low in the mix (melodically not unlike the Twilight Zone motif) that is just loud enough to enhance the spinning and rotating movements on screen, adding to the dizzying effect.  There’s a lot of movement in this scene, not just on screen but in the music and sound which pan and sweep from left to right. It is followed more or less straight on with ‘The Void’, which continues the same material but with a focus on the synths and electronic noises, remaining quiet but tense while Kowalski tethers Stone to him and they plan to make their way to safety.

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A little further on, we’re on board the ISS.  The ‘Fire’ cue plays as Stone discovers that there is, well, a fire on board just as she thinks she’s safe. The music builds rapidly from the peaceful, reflective moments of Stone looking out at Earth, with an electronic alarm beep that cuts through and makes way for the shrill crescendo that builds with the panic.  This is followed by ‘Parachute’; the actual bit with the parachute in the film is pretty intense and dramatic, but the cue starts before the problem does, with a quiet and foreboding bass that suddenly pics up as the parachute causes Stone more problems in her attempted escape to safety. That two-note motif comes back, accompanied by more militant strings. It continues as Stone goes out to fix the problem on the outside of her little shuttle, and as she reaches for the tool that slips from her hands, she notices the debris coming her way again – the music doesn’t spend too much time building up to it, supporting the earlier statement about no sound in space, so we’re just as oblivious as Stone is until we see the problem. The effect of the debris on the satellite is devastating, and the cacophony of noise overwhelms as much as the visuals do. A side note – I love the line that comes just as the wreckage passes: “I hate space”.

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Skipping forward to when Stone is finally going to make it back to Earth, there is an insurgence of ethereal vocals and the strings start to edge out the synths and electronic sounds in ‘Tiangong’ and ‘Shenzou’, which both have a more traditionally symphonic form. I love that there is virtually no music as she watches the remains of the shuttle falling to earth, when the score just a few moments ago was so loud and dramatic while she was in space, contradicting the idea of there being no sound in space. It’s great.

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There’s more of a melody here, one with a triumphant nature; soaring strings and female vocals paired with the beautiful visuals are again overwhelming and stunning. Price’s technique of building in dynamics and pitch to demonstrate approaching objects is used once more as Stone’s capsule hits the water, and after that the music is practically muted, a simple electronic ringing in the background with some quiet synths as Stone struggles out of her suit underwater. There is of course a reappearance of the dramatic and triumphant music as the final cue, ‘Gravity’, starts while we watch Stone shakily walk away, having survived the whole ordeal.

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Sometimes less is more in music, but this is space and there is no ‘less’ – there’s nothing, which is why music fills the void.  By pairing a loud, ominous score that combines electronic synths and orchestral instruments with low-key noises that reflect what the characters would hear in their space-suits – heavy breathing, clicks and smaller sounds – the soundscape of this score is huge and unforgiving, and I loved it.

Awards Week: Costume Design Nominations

[UPDATE: I started this before the BAFTA and CDG winners were announced so…]

Generally speaking costume design nominations at the Oscars and the BAFTAs tend to 1) be nearly identical and 2) focus mostly on period or fantasy films. And this year is no different.

The Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design are 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris), American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson), The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping), The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin) and The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor). The list includes two previous Oscar winners, two designers with their first nominations and a veteran nominee.

The BAFTA nominations included American Hustle, The Great Gatsby and The Invisible Woman but chose Behind the Candelabra (Ellen Mirojnick) and Saving Mr. Banks (Daniel Orlandi) over 12 Years a Slave and The Grandmaster. But neither of those films can claim to exist outside of the traditional ‘period or fantasy’ quota.

The most interesting costume design nominations come from the Costume Designers Guild (unsurprisingly) where the nominations are split between contemporary, period and fantasy. Three categories in place of one so that all genres can be appreciated. For contemporary we have Blue Jasmine (Suzy Benzinger), Her (Casey Storm), Nebraska (Wendy Chuck), Philomena (Consolata Boyle) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Sarah Edwards). [Let’s ignore the missing nomination for Stoker (Kurt & Bart) because I can’t get my head around that.] For period we have 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club (Kurt & Bart), The Great Gatsby and Saving Mr. Banks. Then in fantasy we have The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Trish Summerville) and Oz: The Great and Powerful (Gary Jones and Michael Kutsche).

Unfortunately I haven’t seen all of the nominees so I’ll do my best with this first look through them!

12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris) [Seen]

12 Years a Slave

WINNER – Best Period Costume Design at CDG Awards 22/2.

The costumes in 12 Years a Slave a work as a great example of understated costume. The costumes aren’t ostentatious (except for in scenes with Solomon playing for the wealthy). As the film concentrates on the plight of Solomon Northup we spend most of the time with him and his costumes from free man to slave set up the emotion for the journey. As a slave he wears whatever clothes have been set up him, not intended for him just intended for a body. The real depth in Norris’ costumes are with the distressing and breaking down. The feeling of dirt and sweat pervade the costumes and make everything that bit more real.

Did you really take soil samples from the different plantations?
Oh Lord, I did. Well, we were on, like, five different plantations, and we were trying to age things down so they looked like they belonged there, and the soils down there go from dark to light. We would grab soil before we got there, so when you were aging people and dressing them, they sort of matched.

So the dirt matched the location.
It sounds crazy, but it was very helpful.

[From Q&A with Katie van Syckle from The Cut: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/01/qa-12-years-a-slave-costumer-patricia-norris.html]

American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson) [Seen]

American Hustle: Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper walking in street

A film all about people playing a part requires very clear costuming – add the ’70s into that and you have a complex mix. The risk of cartooning the era is always there (and with conmen is even more likely) but Wilkinson skilfully avoids that. American Hustle is about the surface of these characters and their clothing (and hair) play a very important part in their role, both real and perceived. Two of the most interesting characters are Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). Throughout the film they are dressing to suit a character – costume design within costume design. DiMaso’s costume change becomes more overt (particularly in the scene where Irving Rosenfeld comments on it). He is seduced by the conman world and his clothing (chosen by Prosser) reflects that. On the other hand, Prosser spends much of the film is her persona of Lady Edith Greensly – plunging necklines all around. But meeting her before this and after is much more interesting to see the “real” Sydney Prosser.

Then with Bradley Cooper’s character– he was kind of a different creature there, too. He is a rather sort of conservative guy working at the FBI in sort of ill-fitting polyester suits and garish ties, but he’s very ambitious, and when he meets the characters played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams, he’s introduced into this whole new world of sophistication and enchantment, so he kind of explores how clothes can affect who people perceive you. So he wears leather jackets and cool sunglasses and three-piece suits and silk scarves. He’s really using clothes to sort of dress as the person he wants to be.

[From interview with Vanessa Martin for Miami New Times: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/cultist/2013/12/draft_american_hustle_costume.php?page=2]

Behind the Candelabra (Ellen Mirojnick) [Seen]

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WINNER – Best Costume Design for Mini-series at CDG Awards 22/2.

For a film about Liberace the costumes, weirdly enough, help it to feel grounded. Or at least grounded in the extravagant world of Liberace. The journey of Liberace and Scott’s relationship can be seen most clearly through Scott’s costumes but you also get a sense of Liberace’s costumed life.

Blue Jasmine (Suzy Bezinger) [Seen]

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WINNER – Best Contemporary Costume Design at CDG Awards 22/2.

The most noticeable aspect of Blue Jasmine is that Jasmine never looks as good as she thinks she does (unless we’re in flashback territory). Every piece she wears, beautifully made, is sweat-stained, wrinkled, just not at its best. That’s the whole feeling of the film. Jasmine is clinging to the life she once had but nothing works as it should. Every item of clothing is worn for too long a time. She has set pieces to be worn to certain meetings or events. When she was in her heyday she would have a myriad of options or the shopping option. Here she is limited. She can’t cope with the real world or the ins and outs like washing clothes. She just clings to the past and to THAT Birkin.

“I know these gals,” Suzy tells Grazia “I know where they shop and how they shop. The truth is, just because they have all the money in the world it doesn’t mean that they shop like crazy. They aren’t frivolous about their clothes they’re serious.”

She says that the ‘Jasmine types’ are calculated about their sartorial purchases. “Their lives are complicated. In one day they will have a ladies luncheon, then go to pick up their kids from school then have to go to a meeting of the board of the New York City ballet. (These women) have to find something to wear that is appropriate for all those occasions.”

[From interview with Priya Elan for Grazia: http://www.graziadaily.co.uk/conversation/entertainment/blue-jasmine-we-speak-to-costume-designer-suzy-benzinger-about-woody-allen–cate-blanchett-and-more]

Dallas Buyers Club (Kurt & Bart)

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[Jared] Leto was so committed, in fact, that he remained in character as Rayon — an HIV-positive transgender woman — throughout their time together. “We spoke to Jared once on the phone and then [he stayed in character as] Rayon the entire time from the first fitting out of a suitcase and a plastic bag at his airport hotel room [to] right before his first meeting with [director] Jean-Marc [Vallée].”

Because of this, Kurt and Bart often reference Leto by his character’s name when discussing the costume process. And, according to them, Rayon had one definite opinion when it came to what she wore. “The only thing Rayon was adamant about was she never wanted to wear pants,” they explained, noting that Leto declined to wear a pair of “glam, but also very feminine” high-waisted pink flared trousers that the two had presented. “I know Jared was very into embracing the unfamiliar. He explained it as, ‘I know what it feels like to wear pants.’ I think the vulnerability of a dress or skirt helped him find Rayon, which totally makes sense.”

Kurt and Bart also embraced Matthew McConaughey’s extreme weight loss, though it did pose a unique challenge for the costume designers. The only thing tighter than the film’s budget was its 23-day schedule. “Our shooting schedule didn’t allow for any time to shoot Matthew with a little more weight on him for the ‘healthier’ sequences. We worked really hard to tailor the clothes that he repeated in the film so that they fit differently in different parts of the film. Working with single vintage garments, this was a feat of last-minute tailoring. We made him three different lengths of the same belt to add to the effect,” they said. “We found that if his clothes were more fitted it actually made him look healthier instead of emphasizing how thin he was. We played with oversizing his jeans and shirts a bit when he was sicker to make him look smaller.”

[From interview with Lindzi Scharf for Entertainment Weekly: http://popstyle.ew.com/2014/02/14/dallas-buyers-club-costume-designers-on-matthew-mcconaughey-and-jared-letos-transformations/]

The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)

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The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin) [Seen]

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WINNER – Best Costume Design at BAFTAs 16/2.

Never before has ‘Damn, That’s Some Fine Tailoring’ felt so appropriate here. There may have been great discussion about Daisy’s costumes and connections with Prada but the men’s suits are the real winners here. Martin’s collaboration with Brooks Brothers means for some beautifully cut suits, if it is a little disconcerting that you can buy copies of them not just suits “inspired by”. Having said that, there aren’t many men who could pull of Gatsby’s pink linen suit. Or would want to be associated with such a blatant copy… But anyway. Gatsby’s clothes perfectly fit with that perception of a man playing a role, especially with his walking stick. There is a showy nature to Gatsby’s clothes that could easily be associated with ‘new money’ particularly when compared to Buchanan’s ‘old money’ suits. His are much more refined and subtle in his own way – lots of double-breasted suits and waistcoats. Double-breasted suits give an impression of power and, as such, are often worn by “villains” or “gangsters” and Meyer Wolfsheim is also seen sporting a double-breasted suit. Then you compare this with Carraway’s clothes. His take on a more traditional ‘New England’ feel with lots of tweed and knitwear. As he is a recent graduate of Yale University and a writer trying to sell bonds this all seems like a great fit.

With the women’s costumes there is a lot paid to excess. At the parties you can barely concentrate for the beads, sequins, pearls and jewels either on the dresses or worn as jewellery, if not both. Jordan’s costumes follow more strictly to the ’20s shape because she has the figure to pull this off. Daisy and Myrtle’s costumes are a much more fitted vision of the ’20s. For Mulligan this is probably to make the dresses more flattering for her (similar was done with Monroe’s costumes in Some Like it Hot) whereas for Fisher this was to fit with the brash Myrtle character. My main costume upset refers to Myrtle. In the book she is brash and clearly doesn’t fit in with ‘The Valley of Ashes’ with Wilson but here the costumes for when she is actually at the gas station seem too extravagant. Especially for the setting. When she is with Buchanan at her flat, that is fine. But with Wilson? The colours and revealing nature of her costume seem ridiculously out of place – especially when you see his reaction to the realisation of her affair and their subsequent argument. Would Wilson really accept her clothing in his workplace?

 [Taken from Film Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’. Yep. Stealing my own “work”.]

Her (Casey Storm)

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Call it retro-futurism, a style scheme that filmmakers sometimes employ to make their futuristic worlds feel more persuasive — like in the 1997 film Gattaca, which was set decades into the future but costumed its characters in sleek, timeless forties fashions. The past, then, can serve as the secret ingredient when imagining an onscreen future that will never seem dated, a world totally unmoored from the present in which it was conceived.

“We really don’t need to show it’s the future by putting people in crazy-shaped hats or epaulets,” explains Casey Storm, Jonze’s longtime costume designer, who huddled with artists like Jonze, production designer K.K. Barrett, and Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon when designing the look of Her. “When we were making rules for this world we created, we decided that it would be better to take things away rather than add them. When you add things that aren’t of this era, you wind up noticing them and it becomes really distracting, so our rules were more like, there won’t be any denim in this film, there won’t be any baseball hats, there won’t be any ties or belts. Even lapels and collars will almost disappear. I think the absence of those things creates a unique world, but you can’t quite put your finger on why that is.”

[From interview with Kyle Buchanan for Vulture: http://www.vulture.com/2013/12/her-movie-high-waisted-pants-spike-jonze.html]

Check back later this week for Part Two!

S x