My dad and my uncle recently uncovered my grandma Sally’s scrapbook, which chronicled her activities from the end of junior high (1937) to the year she married my grandfather (1941). As a San Franciscan, her adventures included a 1937 visit to Curran Theatre to see legendary film star Leslie Howard onstage as Hamlet, a day at the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition, experiences at the legendary Omar Khayyam’s restaurant and bar, and graduation from Galileo High School. Continue reading “My grandmother’s childhood scrapbook”
Everyone who knows me well knows that I’m a huge midcentury transatlantic liner fan. The SS United States – America’s merchant marine flagship and star of Disney’s Bon Voyage – is my favorite. Sleek, fast, modern, and as space age as sea travel will ever get, this 1950s wondership needs your help! Be like me and sponsor a piece of the “Big U” via the SS United States Conservancy’s Save the SS United States campaign! I chose part of the “U” in the “UNITED STATES” on the starboard bow. 😀 Save the SS United States!
Yesterday was our Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild Falling for Vertigo: A Toast to Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco event. We had a wonderful time attending a guided tour of the Georgian portraiture at the Legion of Honor (an iconic Vertigo filming site), a nod to the fictional “portrait of Carlotta” that appeared in the film. Afterwards, we visited historic Fort Point, the location where “Madeleine” throws herself into San Francisco Bay, to explore the Civil War-era fort and behold the spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. Our day ended with drinks and dinner at the Presidio Social Club (and for some of us, the Top of the Mark). Continue reading “Falling for Vertigo: 1950s Fashion and Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco”
Before the 2009-2010 BBC Emma miniseries came out – and before I’d even started this blog – my friends Vic and Laurel Ann of Jane Austen Today kindly asked me to do a quick piece about costuming in the three previous major adaptations of the novel: the 1971 BBC tv miniseries starring Dorin Godwin, the 1996 Miramax theatrical release starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and the 1996-1997 A&E/ITV movie starring Kate Beckinsale.
It’s based on a previous article on Emma costuming I prepared for Ellie Farrell’s excellent Celluloid Wrappers site, which is dedicated to film costume. Eventually, I’ll be adding a section on the Romola Garai Emma to that article.
My dad sent me this amazing 1936 footage of a Pontiac car assembly plant, remarking that it reminded him of the machine scenes in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. And he’s right; there’s such precision on the part of the workers.
As his friend Bob (who initially forwarded the video) stated, every one of those guys knows exactly what he’s doing…
This is really awesome footageâ€¦ A 1936 Pontiac assembly factoryâ€¦ Note,
automation was already in place, the workers lack any & all safety equipment, glasses & helmets: and they ALL know exactly what to do & it’s getting done.
Note also that when the body comes together with the chassis that it is in FULL trim! Interior, windshield, all glass etc., is already in place as it is dropped onto the awaiting rolling chassis. “AMAZING” Simplicity @ its best.
Note too, when the metal finishers are checking the sheet metal for minute & tiny flaws & defects, that they are wearing heavy leather work gloves. How would YOU like that repetitious job of placing ( 3 ) rivets in the ( 3 ) holes on the chassis for about 35 to 40 years?
Despite her long studio career and a stunning cache of major awards (including a record-setting 8 Oscars, the most ever for a woman, and 35 Oscar nominations), costume designer Edith Head is a star whose name isnâ€™t readily recognizable to most people. Her work, however, is instantly familiar to almost everyone. Sheâ€™s the woman responsible for the iconic fashions appearing in mid century classics such as Roman Holiday, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and Breakfast at Tiffanyâ€™s.
Head spent 43 years at Paramount, worked 14 years at Universal, and collaborated on various projects for other studios over the years, aggregating a portfolio of work totaling several hundred movies. â€œI do so many films that I would only like to send you work that is outstanding, or of importance to your collection,â€ she wrote in 1967 to the Wisconsin Center for Theatre Research, in response to a request to create an â€œEdith Head Collectionâ€ at the University of Wisconsin.
Her diverse collection of designs includes everything from period fashions to fantasy creations. Though she downplayed cutting-edge contemporary fashion’s influences on her work (â€œWhat is shown in Paris today is a dead duck tomorrowâ€ she once said), Head was also in many ways a fashion trend setter. The popular demand for sarong-style dresses in the late 1930s and 1940s, for example, grew out of Headâ€™s iconic designs for Dorothy Lamour in The Jungle Princess (1936). Continue reading “Edith Head: Star Costumer”
Hi everybody! Fans of our holiday audio compilations will be happy to learn that we’re reformulating our Halloween music collection for 2011. Jason and I can’t give you any details yet, but it’ll be unique and lots of fun!
I’m also brewing a new design for this blog and Strangegirl.com as a whole, in addition to some new fashion-related posts. Yay!
More music stuffs from Jason and/or Kali:
I tend to tweet most of my minor updates these days, but here’s a roundup for the sake of completeness. 🙂
Paul Gordon’s Emma – A Musical Romantic Comedy is now running at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre! The show – which has already enjoyed successful runs in the Bay Area, Cincinnati, and St. Louis – previewed earlier this month and officially premiers this weekend. The run will continue through February 27 (with an extension to March 6).
Emma is directed by Jeff Calhoun and stars Patti Murin as the eponymous heroine and Adam Monley as Mr. Knightley. For more…
- Patti Murin Is Emma, Singing an Austen Song, at Old Globe Jan. 15-Feb. 27 (Playbill.com)
- Official Old Globe Emma site – Includes articles, a program in .pdf format, cast biographies, related events, and notes on the production!
- KPBS “These Days” Interview with Emma director Jeff Calhoun and show writer Paul Gordon
- Globe plans fresh take on Jane Austen’s Emma – Pam Kragen, North County Times
- Perils of romance come to the stage in new musical Emma at The Old Globe in Balboa Park – Diana Saenger, La Jolla Light
- Ageless Emma – James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune
In other Emma adaptation news, Romola Garai’s Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television did not result in a win. Still, it was nice to see her nominated for her starring role in the 2009-2010 BBC Emma miniseries.
In non-adaptation Emma news, Maria Edgeworth’s presentation copy of Emma was sold last month at auction. According to Sotheby’s auction house, it fetched 79,250 pounds sterling. Edgeworth was a bit of a novelist idol of Austen’s and an acquaintance of the James Leigh Perrots, Jane Austen’s aunt and uncle. You can learn about Edgeworth’s opinions on Emma in this roundup of period responses to the book.
Happy new year, everyone!