This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hats Off To The Movies: Costume Design

A few weeks ago I bought a cloche that I found at a thrift store for $7.  Just what I needed-- another hat.  I love hats of all kinds.  I own baseball caps, newsboy caps, a couple of fedoras and cloches, knit caps, skull caps, stocking caps, and a few decorative headbands that "almost" qualify as hats.  I even taught myself how to crochet, just so I could make my own hats.

I wish all of us could go around wearing hats like British royalty.  But people just don't wear hats much like they used to.  I think that's a shame.  Hats mix things up.  They add a spark to your personality, an element of style to an ordinary outfit, an air of mystery to your personal image. 
In the twenties and thirties, people wore hats.  It wasn't just "playing dress-up."  It was called "getting dressed."  See, hats were for everyday wear.  People were far more formal (and stylish) back then.

I always notice costuming-- especially usage of hats in movies.  Here are some of my favorite hats from motion pictures.  Some are as iconic as the characters that wore them.  Some you may have forgotten about.  And there are a few hats so intertwined with the movie star that we may forget where and when it was worn.

Pretty Baby (1978)
Costume Designer: Mina Mittelman
~ I love this straw hat with added floral elements ~

 Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)
Principle Wardrobe/ Miss Hepburn:  Hubert de Givenchy

Sabrina (1954)

~ It's almost unfair to include Audrey Hepburn in this category.  Her work with costume designers like Givenchy and the unique fashions she was able to pull off in her movies are in a category all her own.
 Mad Men (2007-)
~ The distinguished Don Draper sports a fedora in an early episode of AMC's Mad Men. There are a boatload of people working in costuming on this series and I can see why.  All the details matter.  And there are so many details to keep track of.

 Carmen Miranda
~ Not everyone can get away with carrying a fruit basket on her head, but would Carmen Miranda be remembered without it?  I think not.  (Sorry, Carmen. The fruit is most of your appeal. No pun intended.)
Changeling (2008)
Costume Design: Deborah Hopper
~ This is totally my style and very similar to the aforementioned cloche I recently purchased.  (Although mine is grey with a dark blue flower.)  Cloches were all the rage in the '20s.  They are still one of my favorite styles.

 Dick Tracy (1990)
Costume Design:  Milena Canonero
 ~ I wanted to be Tess Trueheart, but I'd take Warren Beatty's banana yellow fedora anytime.  It fit perfectly into the comic-book, gangster world of Dick Tracy.

 Top Hat (1935)
~ What would this movie be without Fred Astaire's top hat?

 It Happened One Night (1934)
Costume Design: Robert Kalloch
~ There is something so simple about Claudette Colbert's black beret.  Nearly anyone can pull off this look, but Colbert does it with her eyes closed as Clark Gable looks on. 

 Legally Blonde (2001)
Costume Design: Sophie de Rakoff Carbonell
 ~ OMG!  Has it really been this long since Elle Woods first graced the silver screen?  Yes, I'm afraid, it has.  However, that cute crochet hat with the lilac flower?  You don't need a law degree, a chihuahua or a Beverly Hills address to know that hat's a style to snatch.

 Batman Returns (1992)
Costumes: Bob Ringwood and Mary Vogt
 ~ I know there have been other Catwomen, but Michelle Pfeiffer's version was always my favorite.  To let the cat outta the bag, I'd love, love to own this costume!  It's black, sexy, and skintight, but still has cut-outs large enough to reveal Pfeiffer's best facial features.  Hello, Cat-Eyes!

 Gone With The Wind (1939)
Hat Designer: John Frederics
~ I'd be willing to don a hoop skirt and pantaloons to bustle around in some of Scarlett O'Hara's frocks.  Beginning with the straw hat she wears to the Wilkes' barbecue, hats are very much a part of Scarlett's wardrobe.  Two of my other favorites seen below:  The emerald green, French bonnet Rhett gives her (and she "accidently on purpose" puts on backwards) and the green velvet, feathered cap made from curtain remnants at the family's plantation home, Tara.

 The Artist (2011)
Costume Design: Mark Bridges
~ As The Artist proves, everything old is new again.  The sophisticated Peppy Miller, now a bona fide star, dons a spectacular hat-- complete with netting-- as she goes to save George Valentin from his own demise.

Copyright ©2013 by KLiedle

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Taxes: Can't A Guy Get A Little Peace And Quiet?

I remember the days when I did my own taxes.  I had this brilliant idea to do my taxes during the Academy Awards telecast every year.  I'd challenge myself to be completely finished by the time they announced Best Picture. Most of the time I succeeded, but only in the years when the telecast was close to 4 hours long.

I'm not a numbers person and I hate math and I always felt like if the government would get it right the first time, none of us would have to do taxes. Ever.  Luckily, these days I have an accountant to do the numbers work for me now.  It's totally worth it.  Taxes make me irritable.  

This classic sketch from The Carol Burnett Show totally reminds me of the frustrating, confusing years when I did my own taxes.  It also reminds me of my grandfather.  At our cabin, he had a poster on the wall that simply said:  "All I want is a little peace and quiet."  

To everyone in the good ol' U.S., good luck filing your taxes.  There's still over a month left before the deadline!    

Copyright © 2013 by KLiedle

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Compliance: Manipulating Innocent People

I recently discovered this indie film and was riveted by the psychological implications of it.  Under stressful situations, people willingly comply with those who identify themselves as "authority figures" regardless of whether or not this might be true.  

I've never worked in fast-food, but I have worked jobs like the character Becky in Compliance.  Occasionally in these jobs, we received prank calls from men who asked to speak with female employees so they could "get off" by making sexual innuendos on the phone.  Usually, these pranksters were pretty easy to detect.  After the first few calls, our manager would simply stop answering the phone.  In Compliance, however, the "prankster" identifies himself as a cop, and at first, it all appears legitimate to Sandy, the Chickwich manager played by Ann Dowd.

This film is particularly disturbing because incidents like this actually happened.  The story of Compliance stemmed from a series of true incidents of prank calls to fast-food joints in mostly rural areas in the South.  The film closely depicts an incident that occurred at a McDonald's in Mount Washington, Kentucky in April 2004.  Compliance is not easy to watch, but the scary psychological tactics the caller uses to manipulate innocent people into acting in deviant ways is a fascinating study of human behavior.


© Copyright 2013 by KLiedle

Friday, March 1, 2013

BAD AUDITION-- "Was That Perfect"

BAD AUDITION Episode #102 "Was That Perfect" 
Starring Kate Orlando, John Broccolo, Mikayla Ryan, 
Kate Davis Campbell, Miranda Coker, Gregory Kay, 
and Jackson Bond, Jr.  
Directed by Kendra Liedle
This past fall, I had the opportunity to work with a tremendous group of people on the new web series,  Bad Audition, created by Kate Orlando.  The series follows struggling actress, Elizabeth Park, as she "battles fame seekers, over-acting actors, clich├ęd scripts, and self obsessed directors in her search for stardom one bad audition at a time."

Creator Kate Orlando has talent, spunk,  and loads of ambition.  As series creator, writer, producer, and star of the series, she certainly had her work cut out for her!  With the collaborative efforts of a small, Los Angeles-based crew, Orlando was able to beautifully pull it all together. 
I was delighted to be a part of it, having directed Episode #102 (Seen above)

BAD AUDITION recently premiered in Los Angeles.  
Watch Season One on Youtube and support independent filmmakers!   

Click here to find the series on Facebook.

 Copyright © 2013 by K. Liedle