Undressing Cinema: Clothing and identity in the movies by Stella Bruzzi

By Stella Bruzzi

From Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, to sharp-suited gangsters in Tarantino video clips, garments is principal to movie. In Undressing Cinema, Stella Bruzzi explores how faraway from being mere add-ons, outfits are key components within the building of cinematic identities, and he or she proposes new and dynamic hyperlinks among cinema, model and gown heritage, gender, queer thought and psychoanalysis.
Bruzzi makes use of case experiences drawn from modern well known cinema to re-evaluate verified principles approximately dress and model in cinema, and to problem traditional interpretations of ways masculinity and femininity are built via garments. Her wide-ranging examine encompasses:
* high fashion in movie and the increase of the motion picture clothier, from Givenchy to Gaultier
* the eroticism of interval gown in movies similar to The Piano and The Age of Innocence
* garments the fashionable femme fatale in Single White Female, Disclosure and The final Seduction
* known male stylish in Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, and Leon
* satisfaction, gown and masculinity in `Blaxploitation' movies, Boyz `N The Hood and New Jack City
* drag and gender confusion in cinema, from the unerotic cross-dressing of Mrs Doubtfire to the eroticised ambiguity of Orlando.

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By Stella Bruzzi

From Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, to sharp-suited gangsters in Tarantino video clips, garments is principal to movie. In Undressing Cinema, Stella Bruzzi explores how faraway from being mere add-ons, outfits are key components within the building of cinematic identities, and he or she proposes new and dynamic hyperlinks among cinema, model and gown heritage, gender, queer thought and psychoanalysis.
Bruzzi makes use of case experiences drawn from modern well known cinema to re-evaluate verified principles approximately dress and model in cinema, and to problem traditional interpretations of ways masculinity and femininity are built via garments. Her wide-ranging examine encompasses:
* high fashion in movie and the increase of the motion picture clothier, from Givenchy to Gaultier
* the eroticism of interval gown in movies similar to The Piano and The Age of Innocence
* garments the fashionable femme fatale in Single White Female, Disclosure and The final Seduction
* known male stylish in Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, and Leon
* satisfaction, gown and masculinity in `Blaxploitation' movies, Boyz `N The Hood and New Jack City
* drag and gender confusion in cinema, from the unerotic cross-dressing of Mrs Doubtfire to the eroticised ambiguity of Orlando.

Show description

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Faber's eclectic wardrobe is thus appropriate to his itinerant traveller's existence. Even in Armani's period designs there is an inherent ambivalence whereby the functionalism of the clothes is set off by their modern stylishness, a relaxation of the differences between contemporaneity and period which also creates a point of identification with the characters. The homogeneity of Giorgio Armani's style, though unspectacular, is distinctive, and the 'Armani look' has an eponymous identity which transcends the designer's own creations and has become a byword for a certain type of man.

And Saint Laurent clothes in Trap Belle and Belle de jour is grounded in a paradox: that deliberately unspectacular fashion can still function in a spectacular way. Within this reorganisation of the expected relationship between couture and display resides the further preoccupation with femininity and dress. Contrary to what is usually implied in feminist writings about fashion and costume, the motivation behind an excessive attention to women's clothes is not necessarily to sexualise women or make them more desirable, particularly when the attention is lavished on the least flamboyant of clothes.

Blier's ironic polemic is based on a straightforward inversion: a wealthy husband (Bernard / Depardieu) is married to a staggeringly beautiful woman (Florence / Bouquet) but falls in love with his plain secretary (Colette/ Balasko) and is finally left without either. Trap Belle is an essay on the oppression and the oppressiveness of beauty. 8 Carole Bouquet and Gerard Depardieu at their wedding in Trap Belle Pour Toil Courtesy of BFI Stills, Posters and Designs 22 Cinema and haute couture she has in her thrall the guests around a dinner party table, all captivated by her delivery of a formless, pretentious monologue, the ostensible subject of which is femininity.

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