Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Grandpa With a Gun

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Growing up, I was told that my Grandpa Rees was a lawyer for the government. More frequently, I was told what a terrible jerk he was.

As the self-appointed family historian I recently digitized nearly two hours worth of 8mm film footage from my Rees ancestors that I had partially watched, once upon a time, as a barely-caring teenager.

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Included in the footage is a brief section of my Grandfather at work in Washington, DC. Fleeting, underexposed images of him walking to his desk are followed by clearer scenes of him outside, shirtless, firing a pistol at criminal-shaped targets as part of his training as a member of the C.I.A. How many kids can say they have footage of their grandfather doing something as awesome as that?

Not until after he died did I know that Grandpa Rees had worked for the C.I.A., and fired pistols, and was interesting and adventurous and cool. That had all been kept a secret. All I had been told was how horrible he was.

For the first time ever now, I really wish I had known him better and made up my own mind about him.

The Road to Grey Gardens

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

If I’m lucky, once or maybe twice a year I’ll see a film I enjoy enough to want to add the DVD to my permanent collection. I Netflix-ed the HBO Grey Gardens film last week and I’ve been haunted by it ever since. It’s not necessarily a flawless film, but it’s a fully fascinating one. It admirably attempts to explain what the 1970s documentary by the same name did not – how did two high society sweethearts, close relatives of Jackie O., stumble into such sad and suffocating squalor?

The HBO film arrives close to answering this question, and yet the reason why I keep thinking about the piece is because it doesn’t completely add up. It’s not explained, entirely, what happened to those women, or why it happened, rather. But maybe if their strange story could be explained and utterly understood then it wouldn’t be so fascinating anymore.

The 14th Rebel

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

A recent story at The Selvedge Yard about Arden Van Scykle and his 13 Rebels motorcycle club dared me to track down an old leather Brando-like cap even though I feared such a piece could no longer be worn post-1977 without a guy just looking like a Village People person.

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On e-bay, such caps weren’t as easy to find as I’d have thought, but there was one perfect piece which I made mine for under 10 bucks.

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For starters, I wanted to wear the hat like Arden would’ve. With high-waisted jeans and my belt buckle shifted one loop over. (Half the cast of West Side Story did that to their belts last week too. Must’ve been proof of rebel-hood back in the day.)

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Next up I should figure out a way to wear the cap as myself, not as a member of some cinematic crew. Not sure what would be right though. I’m thinking thick materials and layering will be necessary to match up with the hearty heft of the cap’s leather.

I guess my cap and I will meet up with you in our new look, further down the road, brothers.

Gallo in Tetro

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

There’s something car-crash crazy about Vincent Gallo. I’m always craning my neck around to see what he’s careened into most recently.

A few years ago, I was able to attend a screening of Brown Bunny at which he was interviewed before the audience after his difficult film played. The man’s quite skilled at saying loathsome things while making you reluctantly fall in love with him, and he has undeniably superb style.

The first of the Coppola filmmakers puts Vincent to work in the intensely Italian-looking Tetro. Its been ages since I’ve gone and seen an “art house” film. Tetro might be just the vehicle to change that.

Once You’re A Jet

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

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For whatever reason, up until last night I had never seen West Side Story in any incarnation. The Heights, a renovated 1920s theater in my old neighborhood had a restored 70mm print of the original screening all this week, so I finally found out what the fuss was all about.

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Much has been written about James Dean’s iconic red jacket in Rebel Without A Cause but the snazzy citron number Russ Tamblyn wears as Riff throughout West Side’s opening scenes hit me as even more inspiring.

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Paired with sullied sky-blues and dingy grays, the use of a Riff-y yellow todays strikes a fresh and yet firmly retro note.

Yesterday-yellow doesn’t seem like the most wearable color initially, but really, paired with tans and blacks, military greens or white-ish creams, there’s few colors that wouldn’t rock right with Jet yellow.

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I remember Apolis Activism had some acidic-tinted denim pants that Riff could’ve rolled in. I’m gonna beat the streets and see if they turned out anything else in that same shade. I got turf to protect, y’see, and I best look the part.

Character Driven – Mr. Felix

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

It should be evident by now, based on earlier entries, that when foreshadowing my future outfits, the visions I’m after have little to do with actual events on my life’s actual itinerary. Admittedly, I’m prone to projecting myself into pretend productions of stage and screen which world premiere nowhere but inside my own mind. 

In that same spirit, I introduce today an ongoing Treasury series in which a single fashion find is fleshed-out through its pairing with other items of interest into a full-fledged, fictional figure, complete with a Treasury-issued name, age, and fatal character flaw.

These sage-y Sperry shoes set the stage for our first fictional figure.

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The clinical, nurse’s shoe slant was what first drew me to this footwear. I initially envisioned pairing them with synthetic-minimalist pieces for an asian-modernist laboratory look, but it’d take me a decade to amass pieces in that aesthetic and an additional decade to actually wear any of it.

In the end, I spun the shoes into something (someone) saltier and less sterile. Enter, stage left, Mr. Fredolph “Dolph” Felix.

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Shoes – Sperry
Cardigan – Brooklyn Industries
Fedora – Christys Crown at Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses – Linda Farrow at Oki-Ni
Cardholder – FineAndDandyShop.com

The Chateau Marmont

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Sofia Coppola’s new film Somewhere will be shot at the famed Los Angeles hotel this coming June and July.

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Loveliness will surely abound.

Flannel on Film

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It might drive some people crazy, but I like to accidentally stumble into a movie on TV somewhere in the middle, fall in love with it, and then get to go back and re-watch it again from the beginning, at some later date. It’s like green-lighting your own happy little prequel.

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Today I fell into the second act of Mon oncle Antoine, apparently considered the best Canadian film ever. From what I’ve seen so far, I can certainly imagine there’d be other Canadian films that could be better…but not that seem more boy-blog-worthy.

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The mellow, mischievous film centers around an untraditional family who works at a general store…
In the 1940s…
In francophone Quebec…
On Christmas Eve!

A movie after my own heart.

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I couldn’t find very amazing images on the internet. None of the screen-grabs presented here even feature any of the 4 main characters. (Consider it non-spoiler-ing at its boldest?)

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But trust me, the film offers enough plaid flannel, wooly britches, dark denim, and slushy sloppy snow to kill your spring fever and get you jonesing for winter again and its macho, fashion classics.