Sacha Baron Cohen as Борат Сагдиев (Borat Sagdiyev), oblivious, bigoted, and hapless “Kazakh” TV journalist
New York City to Hollywood, Spring 2005
Film: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Release Date: August 4, 2006
Director: Larry Charles
Costume Designer: Jason Alper
Fewer people are more willing to look foolish in public than Sacha Baron Cohen, so it’s a very fitting tribute that he should follow Will Ferrell for BAMF Style’s annual April Fool’s Day post.
Baron Cohen had long been popular in England and among HBO viewers for his characters of wannabe gangsta Ali G, flamboyant and judgmental Austrian fashionista Brüno, and the pleasantly racist Kazakh TV journalist Borat Sagdiyev. Almost ten years after first introducing a version of Borat on England’s F2F, Borat (or Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to be more accurate) hit American theaters by storm.
Below the obvious gross-out humor (ugh… hotel fight…), Borat presented an ugly side of America in a strongly satirical light. It’s easy to laugh at the oblivious reporter for blatantly stupid racist opinions, but it becomes harder to laugh when Americans willingly share his ignorance. While some people were antagonized for the sake of comedy, many – a car dealer, a gun shop owner, and a trailer full of frat guys come to mind – showcased their own prejudices. Although it led to a litany of legal issues against the movie, these scenes are important because they force the viewer to realize that only one of the racists on screen is an actor. Continue reading
Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist and borderline alcoholic
Puerto Rico, Summer 1960
Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
Car week continues with a story by an American icon involving an iconic American car.
More than a decade before becoming the face and beautifully twisted mind of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson was a struggling writer who had recently been discharged (honorably, but with prejudice) from the U.S. Air Force and had a few legal issues to his credit, not the least of all being the sinking of nearly every boat in a Kentucky harbor by shooting holes into the boats’ hulls just below the waterline. Continue reading
Sorry this one took me long, fellas. I had planned to have it up by Tuesday (timed for the “polar vortex” ooooh…) but it’s a long-ass movie with a lot of clothes. However, this should still be pretty well-timed for anyone in North America dealing with record low temperatures this winter.
Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced Swedish investigative journalist
Hedestad, Sweden, Winter 2006
Film: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Director: David Fincher
Costume Designer: Trish Summerville
This isn’t one of those movies you pop in just for a laugh on a summer day or to fall asleep to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very dark (both thematically and literally) film that’ll stick with you for days after watching. It’s long – closer to 3 hours than 2 – but the fast-paced, heart-racing sequences and the stellar acting, particularly from leads Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, make the time fly.
Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist in some hot water after his investigation into a corrupt businessman resulted in a libel case. He is mysteriously called to the home of Henrik Vanger (the always excellent and debonair Christopher Plummer) and thrown into a dark investigation of a forty-year-old murder. Continue reading