Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dressing the Future by Magali Boehrer

Blade Runner and the Terminal Genre, William Fisher.

William Fisher introduces a new genre, which he calls the Terminal Genre. It defines films that are multinational, commercial, dystopian, big budget and avant-garde. Such films use technology and manipulated worked matter, for instance the Replicants from Blade Runner, into ambiguous use. Using the image of a future that cannot be controlled or altered due to capitalist and commercial society. This genre makes no claim to surpass cultural or social crisis. He considers Blade Runner to be the highest achievement of the genre. Among other films falling under this category are Mad Max, The Road Runner, Pink Floyd: The wall, Kamakazi’89, Streets of Fire, The Hunger, Subway, Highlander, and The Terminator.

He He also mentions that this new genre changes the original view of Utopia consisting of “diversion” and “escapism” (basically freedom) into “engagement” and “respite”. In terms of the Terminal genre, this utopian image is changed by the culture industry controlling mass culture, thus ‘the utopian dimension takes on a terrifying character’. This genre however, although it is the conclusion and fulfillment of generic experience, is a genre among many.

Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars, Patt Diroll.

Patt Diroll’s article is written for the book of the same name, about the costume exhibition at the fashion institute of Design and Merchandising museum in Los Angeles.

The author explains in awe the creations of Trisha Biggar’s costume of the Star Wars Episodes. The producer Rick McCallum said about her ‘her ability to manage, move, design, build, locate and scrouge was a rare find.’ She spent three months before the shoot preparing at Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in Northern California, planning the design concepts and then flying around the world to scout fairs and markets to find the most exotic materials. She to introduce some twelve hundred-costume ideas for every film for almost every creature. She had to create costumes, which seemed real enough to be in an imaginary world. The set had up to 120 craftspeople working on each costume. Director George Lucas said ‘It is very hard to pick the right fabric, to modify the design in such a way that it looks like it fits into a real world. She is a very positive work force and the best I’ve ever worked with or seen.’

Trisha Biggar systematically studied each character in order to find it’s perfect garmements. For instance, for Palpatine’s character she used dark colors and heavier textures as the episode progressed to foreshadow the descent of the caring Senator to a callous emperor. Furthermore, for Princess Amilda’s character, she had to create a persona who could slip out of her clothes without anyone noticing. Thus Geishas, Mongolians and Elizabeth I of England inspired her.

2001: A Space Oddity, James Keeran

Space Oddity is a mock on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A space Odyssey. The film is in fact nothing close to how the world really came out to be in 2001. There were no spaceships where one could rest his legs, or telephone cabins where one could call home and see the face of their beloveds, much less was there ever any planned space cruise to Jupiter. However, the article does state some interesting information about the stewardesses wearing Velcro shoes in order to maintain their feet on the ground. The jumpsuits were also an original idea.

Space Looks, Stella Bruzzi.

In Stella Bruzzi’s Space looks, she analyzes two terms: Space Age and Space Look. The Space age consists of the time after the first moon landing in 1969 and the sixth one in 1974. During that time space was an empty map, waiting to be filled. It consisted of the fantasy of space not being harmed by reality yet and films and shows such as Forbidden Planet, 2001 and Star Trek came into being which are considered to be the best sci-fi film and show until today. After several moon hoax videos, the fantasy of space was bashed by reality, and movies such as Silent Running and Capricorn One exploited the distance between realty and myth. The second term she mentions is the Space Look, which consists of namely the color grey, with militarist looks inspired by the US military itself, skin-tight jump suits inspired by Robin Hood and even cowboys.

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