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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Motion Picture Costume Design And Other Treasures In Downtown Los Angeles

The author sports a cloche hat at the Bradbury Building in L.A.

Once again, I attended the Art Of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibit at FIDM's Museum and Galleries in Downtown Los Angeles. Now in its 22nd year, the exhibit showcases outstanding costumes from the year's best films. In a year filled with period films, superheroes, sci-fi, action, and fairy-tales retold, costume designers had considerable opportunity to display their talents on the big screen.
While some may find it particularly mesmerizing to see costumes displayed from the likes of Man Of Steel, G.I. Joe, and Thor, my eyes wandered toward more classic costume design. I was far more fascinated by the detailing of the more elaborately tailored and embellished costumes from The Hunger GamesOzAmerican Hustle and The Great Gatsby.
The contributions of motion picture costume designers capture a world, an era, and a story on film. Costume designs come to define a character. Costume designer, Catherine Martin, nominated for The Great Gatsby, explains: "That's the job of a costume-the actor is the transformer. The actor with the script and the director really make the story, and the costume is there to support the process." (From FIDM exhibit notes) What would The Great Gatsby be without the lined suits of Tom Buchanan's Yale pedigree or Daisy's glittering headpieces and gorgeous Prada evening gowns? Also, on display are costumes from American Hustle including several of Rosalyn's frocks as well as some of those low-cut ensembles Amy Adams wore so well as Sydney. American Hustle's Costume Designer, Michael Wilkinson, is among those nominated for an Oscar this year.
Other Treasures Near FIDM (Downtown Los Angeles)
After you've completed your cultural excursion to FIDM's museum, take advantage of downtown L.A. While I was there, a friend and I walked from the Fashion Institute to     The Bradbury Building (304 S. Broadway.) Originally built in 1893, The Bradbury Building is known for both its architecture and its appearances in films such asBladerunner, 500 Days of Summer and The Artist.
The Bradbury's exterior is rather understated, but walk a few steps inside and you'll see what all the fuss is about. The building's interior houses a central court and atrium that beautifully allows natural light to illuminate the cascading staircases and highlight the ornate filigree ironwork that's seen throughout the building.

The Fashion Institute Of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) hosts the 22nd Annual Art Of Motion Picture Costume Design February 11 - April 26, 2014.
FIDM Museum & Galleries: 919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90015
Gallery hours are: 10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. (Tues - Sat) 
** The exhibit is FREE and easily accessible from the Los Angeles Metro Red Line. 
Please note:Photography is not permitted inside the exhibit.
The Bradbury Building is located at 304 S. Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles.
The building is open to visitors from 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. (Mon -Fri) and
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Sat/Sun)
Copyright © 2014 by KLiedle

Monday, February 3, 2014

American Hustle: A Dizzying Game Of Cat And Mouse

Amy Adams In American Hustle
If there's any message to American Hustle, it's the idea that we're all con men to some degree or another. Whether it's power, money, food, love, or the latest tech gadget, even the most innocent of us will manipulate others to get what we want. It's human nature. When we con someone, we deceive them. We play a part, act a certain way to get exactly what you want. Sometimes, we even con ourselves. A con at its worst is pure betrayal. With those heavy ideas in mind, the fact that David O' Russell was able to put together such a funny and entertaining film is quite an achievement.

His latest, American Hustle, may be splashy and flashy and all around effervescent. Yes, it's a comical drama, a farce, with little splashes of camp thrown in for good measure. It's a throwback to the screwball comedies no one makes anymore. Some have criticized that it's too flamboyant for its own good. That it's glitzy enough to fool even the most savvy audience member, the harshest critic, and the most knowledgeable Academy member. If that's the case then David O'Russell has conned us all.  

In my estimation, it's not a perfect film, but no film ever is. What American Hustle has going for it is that you are swept up in the con world the characters inhabit. Its sheer glamour seduces you because you're witnessing these larger-than-life characters acting screwy, making bad decisions, and one-upping each other with their cons. More than likely, you find yourself enjoying the experience and perhaps feeling a bit guilty about it because these characters are not good people. They're criminals when you get right down to it: white-collar criminals who rise to the top not because of talent, luck or hard work, but by cheating all along the way. American Hustle is about people you'd do anything to get away from in real life. Maybe that's one reason why they're so fun to watch on the big screen.American Hustle is nominated for 10 Academy Awards.


Copyright © 2014 by KLiedle