John Cazale as Fredo Corleone, insecure Mafia casino manager
Las Vegas, Summer 1954
Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 14, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone
“New year, new you” is a theme constantly touted by clickbait articles and lifestyle magazines through early January so, in the spirit of #MafiaMonday and the start of the 50th anniversary year of The Godfather, let’s take a look at one of the more startling reinventions in the world of mob movies: Fredo Corleone’s attempted transformation from forgotten brother to flamboyant swinger.
Sure, Fredo may still need the occasional “straightening out”—after all, banging cocktail waitresses two at a time is hardly good for business—but Las Vegas presents him with the opportunity to shed his middle child syndrome and explore a more independent side of himself… for better or worse. Continue reading
Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella, cultured art critic and one-time novelist
Rome, Summer 2012
Film: The Great Beauty
(Italian title: La grande bellezza)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Costume Designer: Daniela Ciancio
Tailor: Cesare Attolini
I first learned of The Great Beauty when it added an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film to its many deserved accolades during the 86th Academy Awards. Impressed by its vibrant clothing and cinematography, and encouraged by friends and followers who were hoping to learn more about the film’s signature style, I recently had the privilege to watch Paolo Sorrentino’s masterpiece, winner of nine David di Donatello Awards.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to consider The Great Beauty a spiritual successor the Fellini’s surrealist homages to Rome and creatively blocked auteurs from a half-century earlier—and one can easily envision the elevator pitch as “La Dolce Vita or 8½ for the post-Berlusconi era”—though that would overgeneralize the shimmering journey that Paolo Sorrentino presents.
The beautiful film is anchored by the central performance of Toni Servillo as the dapper but disillusioned Jep Gambardella, a popular columnist-cum-socialite whose 65th birthday awakens him to the superficiality of his achieved ambition as “king of the high life”. Continue reading
Jay R. Ferguson as Stan Rizzo, maverick advertising agency art director
New York City, Summer 1965 through Spring 1968
Series: Mad Men
– “Chinese Wall” (Episode 4.11), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 10/3/2010
– “A Little Kiss, Part 1” (Episode 5.01), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 3/25/2012
– “Mystery Date” (Episode 5.04), dir. Matt Shakman, aired 4/8/2012
– “Far Away Places” (Episode 5.06), dir. Scott Hornbacher, aired 4/22/2012
– “Lady Lazarus” (Episode 5.08), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 5/6/2012
– “The Phantom” (Episode 5.13), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 6/10/2012
– “To Have and to Hold” (Episode 6.04), dir. Michael Uppendahl, aired 4/21/2013
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Anyone who has been a regular BAMF Style reader or Instagram follower knows that I have a fascination with these random observances—particularly those food-related ones—that dot the calendar, typically of unconfirmed origins but celebrating everything from root beer floats (August 6) to ranch dressing (March 10, as I once commemorated with Gene Hackman’s ranch suit in Prime Cut.)
Thus, you’ve probably already deduced—with an audible groan, no doubt—that today is National Mustard Day, commemorated the first Saturday in August. Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Los Angeles, Summer 1974
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
As the weather is warming up here in the Northern Hemisphere, folks are swapping out the heavy flannel in their closets for linen and planning their trips to sunny locales.
Sam “Ace” Rothstein and his new wife Ginger touched down in L.A. after their ill-advised wedding in Casino although it was technically more of a business trip than a vacation. This outfit, one of Ace’s loudest in the movie (and that’s saying something), is shocking in that it’s what he wears for banking… of course, when you show up with a few million dollars in cash and jewels to deposit, I would imagine no banker would judge. Continue reading