Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button, reverse-aging adventurer and family man
New Orleans, Fall 1967
Film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Release Date: December 25, 2008
Director: David Fincher
Costume Designer: Jacqueline West
Now that spring is here, venturing outside will require not a heavy wool coat but instead some intentional lightweight layering, a casual sartorial approach mastered by Steve McQueen in the ’60s and revived with Jacqueline West’s thoughtful costume design in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The premise of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is very curious indeed, following the story of a man born on Armistice Day 1918 with the appearance of an octogenarian who ages in reverse over the course of the 20th century. Early in his youth, the titular Benjamin makes the acquaintance of Daisy, a young girl who—like the rest of us—ages in the traditional fashion. The two reconnect several times over the following decades, but it isn’t until the early 1960s when Benjamin (Brad Pitt) and Daisy (Cate Blanchett)—now each in their 40s—are able to establish a lasting connection. Continue reading
Steve McQueen, iconic American actor
Fall 1964, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Photographs by William Claxton
Happy birthday to Steve McQueen, born March 24, 1930, in Beach Grove, Indiana, then a small town of barely more than 3,500 people. By the age of eight, he had already received his first bike (well, a tricycle) and his first watch (a gold pocket watch from his uncle), two items that would become very important to his life and legacy. By the time McQueen died of cardiac arrest in November 1980, the “King of Cool” had cemented a place among the greatest American icons of screen and style through his performances in films like The Great Escape, Bullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair, and his lifelong passion for racing and rebellion.
Jean-Pierre Cassel as Jean-François Jardie, dashing French pilot and resistance operative
France, Winter 1942
Film: Army of Shadows
(French title: L’armée des ombres)
Release Date: September 12, 1969
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Costume Designer: Colette Baudot
Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 French Resistance epic, released at a volatile time for France and the world at large, was barely seen by the rest of the world until decades later. Army of Shadows officially debuted in the United States in 2006 and quickly shot to the top of many critics’ “best of the year” lists.
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