Style and Substance
Hello there. I’m Hila from the blog, le projet d’amour. Thanks for having me, Jen!
When Jen asked me to compile a guest post, the first thought that entered my head was beautiful films. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m pretty much a film nerd, so I wanted to talk about some films that mirror the beautiful aesthetic of Jen’s blog. I call these movies ‘style & substance’ films. I.e., films that have depth, but that also make you want to sink into their aesthetic, and perhaps their wardrobes.
I’d love to hear your favourite films, please do tell …
Set in a remote 1920s boarding school for girls, Cracks is a psychological period film that borrows heavily from the aesthetic of water surrounding the school. I basically sat through this film coveting Eva Green’s wardrobe and seething with envy. There is one particular scene in which she confidently strides in a pair of gorgeous wide-legged pants, a delicate deep blue blouse and a scarf woven through her hair. I swear, I heard sighs of delight emanating from my dvd player.
I Am Love is the kind of film that lingers through your senses. Tilda Swinton plays a wealthy Italian matriarch who embarks on a process of self-discovery, nostalgia and love through an affair with a much younger chef. The scenery of Milan, the Italian landscape, and the lush imagery of food all combine to create a deeply evocative and sensual film.
One of my favourite films ever, by one of the most brilliant European directors, Krzysztof Kieslowski. Trois Couleurs: Rouge is part of a trilogy of films that explore the cultural symbolism of the French flag through its colours: Blue, White and Red. Rouge is my favourite film in the trilogy, probably because of Irene Jacob’s sensitive performance as the heroine, Valentine. She is literally bathed in red and a white, hazy light throughout the film, making you feel as if she inhabits her own universe.
This is my ‘if I were stranded on a desert island’ film. I could watch it over and over again. There are very few films that compare with The Red Shoes in terms of visual allure. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s gorgeously expressionistic film is filled with colour, surreal imagery and the kind of wardrobe that you only dream about. Moira Shearer is the ballerina heroine of the film who must choose between a ballet career and the man she loves. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name, The Red Shoes is like a magical fairy tale for adults.
Jane Campion knows how to create costume and period films that come straight from my dreams. Based on the Romantic poet, John Keats’s biography, this film surpasses typical costume dramas through its delicate and poetic aesthetic. From the intricate sewing on costumes, to the highlighting of the natural landscape, Bright Star is a visual re-imagining of Keats’s poetry.