Browsing Tag


Love is a Roarrr: ‘Cutie and the Boxer’

By August 18, 2013 Film School


There are films that are very good, well-composed, heartwarming even. Then there are films that are paradigm shifters, that change the way you view the world or reinforce what you’ve always known to be true. ‘Cutie and the Boxer’ a documentary film by Zachary Heinzerling is precisely the latter: heartfelt, reflective and beautiful.

‘Cutie and the Boxer’ follows the life of Ushio Shinohara, a famous Pop and performance artist from Japan living in New York since the 70s, and his strife-ridden but passionate marriage to fellow artist Noriko. Ushio, then a 41-year old sculptor prominent in the New York art scene meets 19-year-old art student Noriko. They fall in love instantly, get married and have a son Alex.
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Go See: Middle of Nowhere

By October 26, 2012 Film School
Middle of Nowhere

Sometimes we are caught between two selves; an old, comfortable self that wants so desperately to hold on and an alive, but scared new us waiting to burst out.

The other night I went to see the highly praised (Sundance awarded, Oprah approved) Middle of Nowhere from director Ava DuVernay. Shot through a lush palette of rose colored scenes, DuVernay tells the story of Ruby, a woman married to a man in prison and caught between the life she has on pause and pressing play.

Watching Middle of Nowhere is like taking a walk in someone else’s shoes. Wearing Ruby’s determined and loving shoes we learn, as she does, that while the destination may not be clear, sometimes we have to finish the journey all by ourselves. Ruby vacillates between loyalty to her husband and the loneliness of reality and ultimately chooses a path of her own making.

Captivating and emotional, you will be brought into Ruby’s world, one that is rife with the complications of love, life and the unknown.

Go see Middle of Nowhere, open in select cities now. I highly recommend it.

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Wardrobe Dept: 1954′s Carmen Jones

By April 3, 2012 Fashion, Film School, Personal Interests, Personal Style
Carmen Jones

Carmen Jones, Otto Preminger’s 1954 remake of the classic opera Carmen was full of bravado and heart and made headlines for its barrier-breaking  all African-American cast. Love, the pursuit of chase and war time are the backdrop of this musical but the true show-stopper was Dorothy Dandridge’s portrayal of Carmen Jones, the fiery temptress.

Carmen was a woman who knew what she wanted and got it with a fierce attitude, a sharp tongue and quick wit. She wanted Joe and Joe she would get. Carmen’s sass was matched by her saucy wardrobe of wiggle dresses, off the shoulder tops and flowers in her hair. Men beware! Carmen Jones is coming to town.

If you want to channel your inner fiery temptress, here is a style primer for you straight from the Wardrobe Department.


1. Off the Shoulder Top 2. Fiery & Fitted Pencil Skirt 3. Flower Hair Pin 4. Gold Cuff 5. Miss L Fire Heels 6. Dangling Earrings 7. A Rose by any other name

Will you be channeling your inner Carmen?

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Femme Fatale: Five Female Movie Characters We Love

By October 4, 2011 Arts, Film School, Personal Interests
Annie Hall

In movies, I always gravitate toward and identify with enigmatic female movie characters. Heroines who command the screen, often stealing the shine from their male counterparts. These femme fatales own their roles and portray women who are multi-dimensional: strong, quirky, passionate and loving. These women have gained a special place in not only cinema history but are some of my favorite female movie characters of all time.

Katie Morosky The Way We Were

Barbara Streisand as Katie Morosky

The Way We Were is one of my favorite movies of all time! I love the over-arching love story between total opposites Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardener (played by Robert Redford). Katie is passionate about politics (and life) and Hubbell is in awe of her. They marry and have a baby, but like any film their love simply can’t last.


“You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or love you as much!” ~ Katie Morosky Gardener

Miranda Priestly Devil Wears Prada

Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly

The Devil Wears Prada is the movie a million girls loved! The fashion, the storyline, the cold editrix Miranda Priestly. Meryl Streep takes the ice queen archetype to a whole ‘nother level. While we would have hated working for Mrs. Priestly, we simply love to hate her. Whether she is purely fictional or not, Miranda Priestly runs the fashion world.


“By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.” ~ Miranda Priestly

Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones

Carmen Jones takes the opera Carmen and flips it on its side. Dorothy Dandridge plays the quintessential femme fatale, seducing the corporals and breaking the rules. She falls for bright-eyed Joe and ultimately takes him on a wild ride of lust and love games that ends in her demise. Carmen Jones is not a nice gal nor does she want to be one.


‘Scuse my dust, gentlemen. The air’s gettin’ mighty unconditioned ’round here.” ~ Carmen Jones

Madonna as Eva Peron

Skeptics wondered if Madonna could portray the first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron. Not only did she manage to bring Eva to life, she won a Golden Globe for her performance. Eva was a social climber who turned into the voice of the people. She fought for Argentina and is heralded today as a patron saint of their country. If you love musicals with a modern twist you’ll love Evita.


“Put me down for a lifetime of success. Give me credit, I’ll find ways of paying.” ~ Eva Peron

Diane Keaton as Annie Hall

Diane Keaton won an Oscar playing the ditzy and uniquely stylish Annie Hall. While Annie comes across as a bumpkin, she is smarter than meets the eye and Alvy (played by Woody Allen) is smitten by her. He tries to change her, she lets him but ultimately pushes back on what she truly wants ending their star-crossed relationship.


You’re what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew.” ~ Annie Hall

For more movie indulgence and to get your femme fatale fill check out these sites for the ultimate lists of female movie characters:

  • 100 Best Female Character Roles via Film Site
  • 100 Essential Female Film Performances via Pop Matters
  • 15 Badass Female Movie Characters via It Things

What female film characters do you love? Which on screen sirens do you identify with? Please leave a comment!

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Wardrobe Dept: Black Swan

By December 26, 2010 Film School, Personal Interests
Natalie Portman

To say I loved Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a understatement. The haunting tale of Swan Lake, Natalie Portman’s chilling performance, the cinematography, the color scheme and the dance! The film was superb on so many levels and it really has made me excited about going to the movies again. So much so that I went to see All Good Things (with Ryan Gosseling) the very next day.

The costumes, designed by Rodarte, were stunning and mimicked traditional ballet costumes with the use of feathers to drive home the symbolism. The color scheme of gray, white, pink and black was sublime and  below are some stills from this beautiful movie. Also read an in-depth interview with makeup artists Margie Durand and Judy Chin over at Dramatis Personae

Here are some original sketches from the Mulleavy sisters.

Have you seen Black Swan? What are your thoughts?

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Wardrobe Dept: 500 Days of Summer

By December 6, 2010 Film School, Personal Interests
Picture 4

Looking through my archives, I was astounded at the discovery that I’ve never done a post on one of my favorite movies 500 Days of Summer. Blasphemy! If you’ve never seen it, please get thee to and order immediately. 500 Days of Summer is a love story with a twist, kind of in the vein of Annie Hall. It’s not all romantic cheese like most rom-coms and it has an intelligence to it that dissects relationships like how us “real” people experience them.

The plot and genius of the film aside, the wardrobe was beautiful yet simple. The characters Tom and Summer, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel seemed to dress in their own world, with a soothing palette of blues, tans and whites.  Tom dresses in fitted slacks, suits and ties, while Summer wears vintage 50′s frocks and hair bows.  Costume designer Hope Hanafin talks about using solely blue on Zooey and mixing vintage with modern to craft the light and enchanting wardrobe.

I simply love Summer’s style! Now I can stop obsessing over this movie and let you take in 500 Days in all its glory!

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Wardrobe Dept: Down With Love

By July 22, 2010 Film School, Personal Interests

Renee Zellwegger has a special place in my heart ever since Bridget Jones Diary. While her penchant for Carolina Herrera gowns and excessive weight loss are not on my list of her fav attributes, her starring role in the campy 2003 movie “Down with Love” certainly is. A homepage to the Doris Day/Rock Hudson battle of the sexes films of the 60s, “Down with Love” is heavy on the girl power and innuendos.

But the real star of film is the costumes and wardrobe. While the plot is purely farce, the wardrobe is SURRRRRRRIOUS! Wool sheath dresses, matching hats and gloves, stewardess ensembles, hat boxes and dance numbers. And yall know I’m a sucker for a dance number. Down with Love, UP with FASHION!

Barbara Novak coming to the Big City… in Style

Wanted: A best friend to take long walks on the beach and wear alternating outfits. Must Love Dogs (oh wait wrong movie)

This two-piece needs a spot in my wardrobe, preferably worn poolside. Not to mention I NEED to live in this apartment

Feathers and Iridescent Suits… I DIE (literally, not in the Rachel Zoe way)

Fly the Stylish Skies!

All white everything and a turban to boot! Wouldn’t this make the perfect retirement ensemble?

There are so many great fashion moments in this film. If you haven’t seen it you must watch… NOW!

Are you a Down with Love Girl?

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