Tag Archives: fashion

299 – Cruella

Listen on the players above, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Disney’s latest update of its back catalogue sees Emma Stone bring punk rock to Sixties London in Cruella, a beautiful, stylish, but clunky affair. Like Maleficent before it, Cruella offers an origin story to a key Disney villain: Estella, as she’s named when we meet her, takes a circuitous route to her destiny as a star fashion designer, grifting with friends to make ends meet, and waging war on the leading fashionista of the day, Baroness von Hellman – played by a fabulously wicked Emma Thompson. Oh, and there are some Dalmatians involved.

We discuss the quality and intentions of Cruella’s characterisation and Stone’s performance, the conspicuously expensive soundtrack, the use of CGI animals, whether the film is as queer as some of the hype has suggested, the role of men and masculinity, and why it is that fashion movies are one of very few areas in cinema where women get to play fun villains like the Baroness. Cruella is an imperfect film, less than the sum of its parts – but at their best, those parts are worth it for their own sake.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

68 – Ocean’s 8

The all-female reboot of the Ocean’s franchise sees Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett leading a team of women to infiltrate and rob the Met Gala. We discuss how the heist failed to meet our expectations, the weak integration of Ocean’s personal motivation, and the underwhelming displays of glamour, but we find things to like, including Anne Hathaway’s performance in particular and how the film depicts the characters eating. But ultimately we’re left with the question: If a woman can’t get the job directing a film like this, just what is she allowed to direct?

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

47 – Phantom Thread – Second Screening

Mike’s brother Stephen joins us to discuss Phantom Thread in further detail. We look at the power struggle between Alma and Cyril, the visual verticality that contributes to an Academy ratio feel, the film’s relationship to fairytales, the way the score augments the images, and whether the dresses are actually any good and why.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

43 – Phantom Thread

Finally, we sink our teeth into Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly-anticipated romantic period drama. The performances, aesthetics, direction and so much more are simply enthralling and give us much to discuss. We consider Daniel Day-Lewis’s style and how likeable he is in this, Anderson’s mastery of tone and ability to lighten with unexpected humour what could be a rather dry film, the beauty of his cinematography, the range of female characters and some aspects of their portrayal, the way in which the work of an artist is depicted, and more. José is simply beside himself with the film’s beauty, and Mike questions its flirtations with cliché so often that he becomes a cliché himself.

It’s clear that there’s more to discover than one viewing can reveal, so we look forward to seeing the film again and talking on it more.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.