Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Summer 1960
Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
“In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy,” heralded Hunter S. Thompson’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in November 1957, a considerable understatement given the iconic writer’s eventual symbolic anti-authoritarian status.
Following his discharge, Thompson tried a few journalistic stints in New York but was fired by Time (for insubordination) and the Middletown Daily Record (for damaging a candy machine) and moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.
Having failed to procure a position with the San Juan Star, Thompson wrote for the El Sportivo sporting magazine… though it folded quickly after his arrival. His experiences in San Juan formed the basis of The Rum Diary, a novel that he penned shortly after his return to the U.S. the following year, although it wasn’t published for more than three decades.
While it would be inaccurate to describe The Rum Diary as a strict roman à clef, its morose, restless narrator Paul Kemp is clearly modeled on Thompson himself, and Thompson’s friend Johnny Depp was naturally tapped to play the role in the film adaptation. Continue reading
John Travolta as Chili Palmer, Miami loan shark and aspiring filmmaker
Los Angeles, Winter 1995
Film: Get Shorty
Release Date: October 20, 1995
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann
Today’s Mafia Monday post explores one of the many delightfully idiosyncratic characters from the wonderful world of Elmore Leonard.
Miami loan shark Chili Palmer is effortlessly capable at his job, but – like many people – when a job is too easy, it becomes tedious. Bored with the incompetence of psychotic mobsters in his orbit like Ray “Bones” Barboni (Dennis Farina), Chili embraces the opportunity to go west in search of a delinquent dry cleaner. Continue reading
Larry David as himself, a neurotic comedy writer
Los Angeles, Fall 2000
Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Episode: “The Pants Tent” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: October 15, 2000
Director: Robert B. Weide
Creator: Larry David
Costume Designer: Wendy Range Rao
Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t a show often celebrated for its sartorial style, but the trouser-centric faux pas that drives the plot of its first episode makes Larry David the perfect subject for BAMF Style’s annual April Fool’s Day post this year. Continue reading
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious ad exec and suburban dad
Ossining, New York, April 1960
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Marriage of Figaro” (Episode 1.03)
Air Date: August 2, 2007
Director: Ed Bianchi
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
In addition to Mad Men‘s first mention of Dick Whitman, “Marriage of Figaro” includes a snazzy casual outfit for a slick spring weekend in the suburbs.
The first two episodes certainly hinted at the deep layers lurking beneath the man first introduced to us as Don Draper, but it is “Marriage of Figaro” that breaks Mad Men‘s ground in exploring our ostensible protagonist’s isolation and loneliness… a quality that Todd VanDerWerff of The AV Club described as “his essential unhappiness.” Continue reading
Clint Eastwood as Insp. Harry Callahan, reassigned San Francisco inspector
San Francisco, Summer 1976
Film: The Enforcer
Release Date: December 22, 1976
Director: James Fargo
Costume Designer: Glenn Wright
After all the romance of Valentine’s Day, Clint Eastwood is bringing some toughness back to BAMF Style as one of his most iconic characters, “Dirty Harry” Callahan. The third film in the “Dirty Harry” series, The Enforcer, finds Harry teamed up with tough rookie detective Kate Moore (Tyne Daly) against a gang of militant revolutionaries.
Harry begins the final day of his investigation roughing up a massage parlor, noting that it’s the sort of place where “for $75, you get to make it with a rubber dolly.” A tip leads him to a gunfight in a church which ultimately leads to a gunfight at Alcatraz. Continue reading
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, surly libertarian city parks director and jazz saxophonist
Pawnee, Indiana, Fall 2009
Series: Parks and Recreation
Episode: “Ron and Tammy” (Episode 2.08)
Air Date: November 5, 2009
Director: Troy Miller
Created by: Greg Daniels & Michael Schur
Costume Designer: Kelli Jones
By design, little attention is paid to Ron Swanson’s clothing throughout Parks and Recreation. In fact, Ron’s style could best be summed up by saying he dresses like a non-threatening suburban dad, as opposed to Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), who basks in the show’s sartorial attention with his “Brooks Brothers Boys” suits. We even learn, in “Ron and Tammys” (Episode 4.02), that Ron has only spent $40 on clothes in the past five years.
That said, there is one thing that gets Ron to care about what he pulls out of his closet that morning… and that’s his activity from the night before. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hotel owner and international thief
Los Angeles and Rome, November 2004
Film: Ocean’s Twelve
Release Date: December 10, 2004
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
Pitt’s Costumer: Bruno de Santa
Today’s installment of “Hey, I actually kinda enjoyed that movie!” features the Euro-flavored meat in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy sandwich, Ocean’s Twelve. This blockbuster brought the whole gang back together again, adding nemeses on both sides of the law in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vincent Cassel.
After the theft of more than $160 million from his Vegas casino years earlier, ruthless mogul Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has spent plenty of time tracking down each team member of “Ocean’s Eleven”… a moniker that several of the team dispute. The last to be tracked down is Rusty Ryan, Danny Ocean’s smooth right hand whom we learn was actually considered the de facto leader by many of the group itself. Three and a half years after abandoning his girlfriend (CZJ) in Rome, Rusty is managing his own L.A. hotel and babysitting the washed-up Hollywood stars who bed down in it: “Jeez, Topher, you didn’t have to go all Frankie Muniz on me.”
Rusty is in the middle of the hedonistic Topher Grace situation when he gets that call from Benedict: “The last time we talked, you hung up on me.” Immediately realizing the significance of this greeting, Rusty gets into Neil McCauley mode as soon as he feels the heat. “You used nasty words,” Rusty responds, reverting to his cool persona and feeling comfort in the knowledge that Benedict isn’t able to see him desperately scrambling out of the building to his car(s). Of course, Rusty starts feeling the literal heat once Benedict triggers a bomb that detonates his favorite car, a ’63 Ford Falcon Futura convertible. Point taken. Continue reading