Reda Kateb as Django Reinhardt, gypsy jazz guitar virtuoso
Paris, Summer 1943
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Director: Étienne Comar
Costume Designer: Pascaline Chavanne
My interest in Django Reinhardt’s music began in the spring of 2004, when 14-year-old me eagerly purchased Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, a computer game that was essentially the Grand Theft Auto series with a Prohibition-era twist and a dash of Scorsese-ese inspiration. Set in 1930s New Jersey, the game was scored by period music including familiar favorites by Duke Ellington and a style that was all new to me, the rhythmic, guitar-driven gypsy jazz pioneered by Django Reinhardt. Continue reading
George Lazenby as James Bond, smooth British secret agent
Estoril, Portugal, September 1969
Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius
This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, often considered among the best of the James Bond canon. George Lazenby, the Australian actor who batted 1000 with OHMSS as his sole outing as 007, has also activated his Instagram presence this year, sharing photos of himself in many of the same locations he had made famous a half-century ago as the world’s most famous secret agent.
George’s #OHMSS50 tour included calling on the celebrated Palácio Estoril, the Portuguese hotel where his James Bond spent the early scenes of OHMSS chasing and seducing Diana Rigg’s character, Teresa “Tracy” di Vincenzo. During the visit, he even interacted with many of the hotel’s staff who were still in the Palácio Estoril’s employ 50 years after their on-screen cameos.
Today, on the 00-7th of July, let’s take a look at the timeless summer-friendly style that Lazenby’s James Bond wore when he pulled his Aston Martin into the parking lot at Palácio Estoril some fifty years ago. Continue reading
Warren Oates as Bennie Benjamin, piano-playing bounty hunter
Mexico, May 1973
Film: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Release Date: August 14, 1974
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Wardrobe Credit: Adolfo Ramírez
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today would have been the 90th birthday of Warren Oates, the grizzled Kentucky-born actor celebrated on BAMF Style for his depiction of John Dillinger in 1973’s Dillinger and also his collaborations with director Sam Peckinpah including The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). It was this latter film that the iconoclastic director deemed the only one from his three-decade career that matched his original vision.
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hustler and casino heister
East Jersey State Prison, Summer 2001
Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: December 7, 2001
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland
“I hope you were the groom” is Rusty Ryan’s greeting as the tuxedo-clad Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is released from serving “three to six months” in prison.
Danny allows himself a second to smirk, processing his old pal’s remark before responding appropriately:
Ted Nugent called, he wants his shirt back.
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, bootlegger and former Atlantic City political boss
Havana, April 1931
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01)
Air Date: September 7, 2014
Director: Tim Van Patten
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield
To commemorate this unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day tomorrow, BAMF Style is checking in with fashion plate Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire as he enjoys a warm spring evening in Havana at the start of the fifth season.
Having exiled himself to Cuba in the seven years since we last saw him, Nucky is still wheeling and dealing in the illegal liquor trade, currently working on an export deal with the good folks of Bacardi rum in the possible wake of Prohibition’s imminent end. Continue reading
Al Pacino as Ricky Roma, ace real estate closer
New York (or maybe Chicago…), September 1992
Film: Glengarry Glen Ross
Release Date: October 2, 1992
Director: James Foley
Costume Designer: Jane Greenwood
This is a big week for iconic actor birthdays! Today is the 77th birthday of Al Pacino, born April 25, 1940 in New York.
After a dormant post-Scarface career through most of the ’80s, Pacino shot back onto the screen in the following decade, returning to the part that made him famous as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III and taking on the role of confident and cut-throat real estate salesman Richard Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross from a screenplay adapted by David Mamet of his own Pulitzer- and Tony-winning 1984 play. Continue reading
Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel, tailor to Panama’s finest and ex-con
Panama City, Fall 1999
Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson
I tend to get grumpy about sartorial “rules”, including the snobbish American insistence that white can only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While I wouldn’t see much of a need to wear white (or that of its ilk) on a chilly winter day in Pittsburgh, it’s still frustrating to be informed what I can and can’t wear. For all of his faults, Boss Hogg deserves some credit for refusing to yield to arbitrary rules of dress and proudly wearing his white busting-at-the-seams three-piece suit all year round.
Luckily for Harry Pendel, this rule doesn’t apply in the tropical locale of Panama where the British expat (and ex-con) has set up his tailor shop. Harry is one of the few characters from his novels that John le Carré felt he could relate to, stating that “I was exploring the relationship between myself and my own fabricator. Anybody in the creative business, as you might call it, has some sense of guilt about fooling around with fact, that you’re committing larceny, that all of life is material for your fabulations.”
Director John Boorman said he always imagined Geoffrey Rush for the role. “You never lose sympathy for Geoffrey on screen, even when he does dreadful things,” explained Boorman. “There’s something worn yet innocent about him.” Continue reading
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, ruthless and calculating U.S. President
Gaffney, SC, August 2015
Series: House of Cards
Episode: “Chapter 33” (Episode 3.07)
Streaming Date: February 27, 2015
Director: John Dahl
Costume Designer: Johanna Argan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The Week of Weddings comes to an end with a subdued renewal of vows for that coldest of TV couples, Frank and Claire Underwood.
“Chapter 33” is a particularly meditative episode for a show that has found its lead character throw another major character in front of a train. The episode uses the creation and subsequent destruction of a Hindu mandala to tell the story of the unorthodox Underwood marriage. While political murders and extramarital affairs aren’t enough to kill their marriage, the President and his wife find themselves more divided than ever after the events of the previous episode. It’s significant that they return to the original church in Gaffney where their formation was created in order to rejuvenate their relationship, and it’s while talking to Yates in front of their first home together that he can admit:
I can tell you this, though, there would have been no White House without Claire.
Of course, Gaffney was also the place where Frank Underwood was created, and it is here – through the increasingly less biased eyes of biographer Thomas Yates – that he is as removed from his ruthless political self as possible. He is disarmingly introspective and charismatic, pouring out stories and wisdom though it were from a bottle of bourbon in his office. Continue reading
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent
Las Vegas, Spring 1971
Film: Diamonds are Forever
Release Date: December 17, 1971
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Master: Ray Beck
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Apologies for the blog’s inactivity lately; between a friend’s wedding and spring being a very busy event season at work, it’s been difficult to find time for a fun – albeit time-consuming – sideline like BAMF Style. You didn’t expect me to miss the 00-7th of May, though?
And what’s a better way to celebrate the approaching Hallmark holiday of Mother’s Day without exploring a look from one of the most sexist films of an already somewhat chauvinist franchise?! (Hey, at least he wears some pink here.) Continue reading
Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later known as Sidney Reilly, Russian-born British Secret Service agent
Baku, Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan), Spring 1901
Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller
Super Bowl XLIX viewers last Sunday surely didn’t miss the new trailer for Jurassic World, the newest entry in the franchise that began more than 20 years ago with Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, Sam Neill will not be reprising his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the newest film, so Neill fans itching to fill the void can revisit the brilliant 1983 mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies. Continue reading