Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Costume & Identity: NON WESTERN, by Giada Fried

Fashion In India, by Vandana Bhandari

Fashion in India is an overview of its fashion industry. It talks about its tradition, its infrastructure and the impact it has brought on to the media and film industry. At first we learn about the deep connection that fashion has to its textile tradition and the impacted it has on today’s designs. Thanks to a special program of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) and some NGO’s they were able to sustain the craftsmen and reinvigorate the textile market by improving the economical and physical infrastructure, as well as telecommunications and transportation - which makes India one of the most competitive and dominant markets in the industry. Then the author goes on to talk about media and the influence that Bollywood film industry has on fashion and how many of the looks worn by cinema stars has quickly transferred to the streets – it truly is a trend setter for the population, to the point where starts and their looks on screen dictate the fan’s taste. Magazines and the Internet are also very dominant mediums for transmitting fashion trends today. The fashion industry in India is so important today that a National Institute of fashion technologies has been established in seven cities and a New Delhi fashion week has found life. Such interest in fashion and the enormous expansion of the middle class have raised interest in luxury products, thus creating a large demand for all expensive goods, as seen in western countries. This has brought a fusion between Indian styles and Western ones which goes both ways – because not only is the former influenced by the ladder, but also vice-versa. Today the Indian fashion market provides contemporary fashion trends not only for its local population but for the rest of the global market as well.

Wong Kar-wai on "In the mood for love", by Anthony Kaufman

In this interview, the director Wong Kar-Wai speaks about the process of making the film “In the mood for Love”, which is considered by many his masterpiece. He speaks about his thoughts, influences, Asian cinema today and his future projects. He reveals his devotion to this film and the amount of extensive footage they shot, since he was so engaged in the project that he couldn’t stop filming. Finally he had to give himself a deadline, which he did by submitting the film to Cannes. He also talks about the main themes of the movie – solitude, desire and in general human emotions (subjects he often treats in his films). He explains the unique use of the frame and how, by obstructing it with an object the viewer could feel like he was present with the actors. He also mentions repetition, which was very important because it underlined even more the character’s emotions, which was the only evolving thing throughout the story. He goes on to talk about his process, which is very spontaneous, as he tends to work thru things as he goes. Mood is also very a very important aspect of the film – it’s 1960’s Honk Kong setting, the musical choice and the many gorgeous outfits – all this contributed to enhance the feeling of nostalgia. He concludes by expressing his feelings on the film and states that even if a lot of suffering went into the production, it was well worth it in the end.

Going to great lenghts, by Mary Trahan

The article talks about the ideas behind the costume designs of “Memoires of a Geisha” and how costume designer Colleen Atwood when about developing and creating her vision and designs for the film. She said that a lot of research was made and that travel was a big part, since most of the materials used came from various places in the world. The designer also explains that a lot of interpretation was done in relation to the traditional style of a geisha, for this movie was a theatrical one and the designs had to reflect that. In reality the authentic geishas are much more understated than how we see them in the film. She then goes onto talk about the look of each of the main three characters and explains how many of the style choices were made to reflect the psychological profile of the three main geishas.

Sir Richard Attenborough opens up, by Ranjan das Gupta

In this article the director Richard Attenborough literally opens up about his masterpiece Ghandi, and does so in pertinence with the Indian Independence day. He reveals that he believes the movie had flaws, which he only noticed two decades later. He talks about the choice of casting Ben Kingsley as Ghandi, as there was no Indian actor at the time that could impersonate Ghandi as well and that could strongly impact the international market. He also talks about his musical choices for the film and how in his eyes this was his biggest miscalculation in the film. He states his disappointment for not receiving an Oscar for "Cry Freedom", which in his mind was his masterpiece and ends by wishing India`s full independence from the British influence.

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