Elegance: so many ways to represent it in movies
Costumes, set design, camera angles, cinematography, editing, sounds, the movements of an actor in front of the camera, a shooting of an inanimate object. Style should never overshadows substance, and if it’s true that there many examples of style over substance in the cinematic, is also true that there are movies where the two factors blends perfectly. Let’s discover some of those titles chosen for this month’s issue of Oneg.
PHANTOM THREAD, Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017
Paul Thomas Anderson’s last work is set in London’s couture world in 1964. Daniel Day-Lewis is, in what according with the actor is his latest role before retiring from acting, a very renowned fashion designer called Reynolds Woodcock, always in a desperate needs of a new muse.
Reynolds, who is still mourning the death of his mother, has an obsessive and controlling personality and we understand that the only woman who has influence over his life is is his sister Cyril.
While in the countryside Reynolds meets a waitress named Alma, who become soon his new muse and lover. Soon a very peculiar relationship between the two of them develops, but Alma is very different from his previously lovers and Reynolds will soon discover in what way.
Beautifully shot and acted, Phantom Thread is basically a film about the art of letting yourself go to another person.
THE HANDMAIDEN, Park Chan-wook, 2016
This erotica psychologic thriller set in 1930s Korea under Japanese colonial rule was inspired by the novel The Fingersmith (the book was set in Victorian era Britain).
The movie is divided in three chapters and tell the story of a Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko and her just hired handmaiden Sook-Hee.
Lady Hideko lives a reclusive life on a large countryside estate with his uncle Kazouki. But Sook-Hee in reality has a secret.
She’s not a maid but a pickpocket recruited by a cheat who pose as a Japanese Count to help him seduce, rob of her fortune and lock the Lady up in madhouse. But between the two women something unexpected happens.
“Tha Handmaiden” is one of the most erotic and sensual movies ever made, and thanks with its gorgeous costumes, set design and shot every frame is simply a work of art.
A SINGLE MAN, Tom Ford, 2009
It’s November 30 1962 and George Falconer (Colin Firth), an English professor at a Los Angeles college, decide to get his affairs in order before committing suicide that same evening.
His life partner of sixteen years died in a car accident eight month earlier, and George can’t cope to live without him.
But on what he plans to be his last day on earth, George spends time with various people from a gigolo named Carlos, his best friend Charley (Julianne Moore) and one of his students, Kenny Potter (Nicholas Hoult), who is clearly interested in his professor beyond English class. Will George change his mind?
Tom Ford’s directorial debut is the epitome of elegance.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, Kar-Wai Wong, 2000
Kar—Wai Wong’s most famous movie is set in Honk Kong in the 1960s, and is a story of two neighbors, Chow Mo-Wan, a newspaper editor and Su Li-zhen, a secretary. The two became friends, they share the same interests and have lots of things in common, but they soon discover that both their spouses are having an affair.
Hurt and angry, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they decide not to be like their unfaithful mates even if they are clearly falling in love with each other.
“In The Mood For Love” is simply a work of art, a ravishing cinematic experience to absorb through colour, light and music thanks also to the gorgeous costume design, cinematography and slow motion shot, now a Kar-Wai’s trademark.
Every sot of this movie are so perfect they should be frame on a wall.