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Showing posts from February, 2016

Cleopatra or the Most Undeserved Oscar Win ever

There is a reason why I usually do not review movies from the "golden-age" of Hollywood (which means any movie prior to the 1970's), and that is because back then they cared even less about historical accuracy in costuming than nowadays, which is saying a lot. Because of this, most of the "historical" movies generally ignored the period and just did whatever was fashionable at the time with a spice of the supposed period.
This is something that usually makes me laugh, rather than angry, because it results in very funny outfits (peplums particularly created a lot of funny imaginary). And Cleopatra, 1963's epic about the Egyptian queen, was for most of my childhood one of those movies. I knew the costumes were not accurate, but they fascinated me anyways in their ridiculousness. That is until I heard that the movie had won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design, the same year that "Il Gattopardo was nominated for Best Costume Design. An…

Creating Middle Earth. A Shield-maiden. Part I

The hardest and most challenging task that any fantasy movie has to face is to make the audience believe that their world could, and does, indeed, exist. Without this, there is no investment on the viewer's part and, therefore, no interest. The failure to do so, has been the doom of many epic productions through movie history.
In fantasy books, the task is much easier; generally it's up to the reader's imagination. But in a movie, everything needs to be specific. In a book you can say "she looked angelic with the traditional veil of her people". In a movie, you need to see the veil, and it has to be both believable and unique, like it could only belong to "her people". That need for specificity affects, mostly, two departments: production design and costume design.
This is what is called "world building", and in recent memory, one movie has become the ultimate referent when it comes to it: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001-20…