Friday, 25 January 2013

Hollywood Costume at the V&A

The trouble with marking is it drives you a bit bananas. All this assimilation of others ideas makes you scramble your own, and I have to keep stopping and making cups of tea, cups of coffee (I don't even like coffee) or bacon sandwiches, or walk around the block, write an essay on Walter Gropius, or as was the case yesterday find ourselves in South Kensington at the Hollywood Costume show at the V&A.
So that's why we were there, as a diversion, that and we had free tickets. And what did we make of it? Hard to say, or see, since it was crowded out. Clearly this sort of thing is very popular indeed. Certainly it felt like a charity shop with sub woofer special effects. And it certainly felt like it would turn in to Night in the Museum III after dark, when Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor 1961) would be found shagging Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford 1983) on the set of Oceans Eleven (2001) but with clothes on. The clothes were most peculiarly and even menacingly animated without even people in them.  What the designers had done was decide to make the only real bits of fantasy film making back in to films again ( Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco would be smiling ear to ear) with the help of enormous amounts of technology (lots of screens and sub woofers). Perhaps the world will soon be amplified in such a way, and you won't be able to take a nixon without it sounding like the krumphh! of an exploding mortar bomb. However we had the delight of not feeling obligated to stay long, so we managed the shortest visit they would have had that day, and were thoroughly relieved to reach cold, normal city air.
On reflection, the only thing I would have really liked a special effect for, Marilyn's dress, was just hanging there limp. It was very non special effect. This was poignant. Firstly, it showed us how small she was, and secondly, how good the special effect was in the first place, thirdly, that frocks don't keep very well, and fourthly that she was very very dead. So you can stuff that up your simulated arse.
Now it's back to those essays...or my taxes...

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