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Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identities in the Moviesby Stella Bruzzi
Synopses & Reviews
From Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, to sharp-suited gangsters in Tarantino movies, clothing is central to film. In Undressing Cinema, Stella Bruzzi explores how far from being mere accessories, clothes are key elements in the construction of cinematic identities, and she proposes new and dynamic links between cinema, fashion and costume history, gender, queer theory and psychoanalysis.
Bruzzi uses case studies drawn from contemporary popular cinema to reassess established ideas about costume and fashion in cinema, and to challenge conventional interpretations of how masculinity and femininity are constructed through clothing. Her wide-ranging study encompasses:
* haute couture in film and the rise of the movie fashion designer, from Givenchy to Gaultier
* the eroticism of period costume in films such as The Piano and The Age of Innocence
* clothing the modern femme fatale in Single White Female, Disclosure and The Last Seduction
* generic male chic in Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, and Leon
* pride, costume and masculinity in Blaxploitation' films, Boyz N The Hood and New Jack City
* drag and gender confusion in cinema, from the unerotic cross-dressing of Mrs Doubtfire to the eroticised ambiguity of Orlando.
Book News Annotation:
Working from the premise that clothing in film exists as a discourse that is not wholly dependent on the structures of narrative and character for signification, Bruzzi (film, U. of London) draws heavily on theory concerning gender and sexuality in her discussions of the rise of the movie fashion designer, the eroticism of period costumes in such films as The Piano, erotic and unerotic representations of cross-dressing, and the depiction of masculinity and femininity in recent American black cinema, film noir, and gangster movies.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Using case studies drawn from contemporary popular cinema to reassess ideas about costume and fashion in cinema, Bruzzi explores how clothes are key elements in the construction of cinematic identities and proposes new and dynamic links between cinema, fashion and costume history, gender, queer theory and psychoanalysis.
From Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, to sharp suited gangsters in Tarantino movies, clothing is a key element in the construction of cinematic identities. Undressing Cinema, an innovative examination of the significance of clothes in film, proposes new and dynamic links between cinema, fashion and costume history, gender, queer theory and psychoanalysis. Exploring new film noir, the gangster movie and New Black Cinema, Stella Bruzzi analyzes assumptions about femininity and masculinity and examines the relationship between gender and dress in recent cinema, discussing such films as Basic Instinct, Disclosure, The Last Seduction, Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, La Femme Nikita, Malcolm X, Boyz 'N The Hood and New Jack City. Bruzzi also considers drag in films, and proposes a radical differentiation between the unerotic cross-dressing of Mrs Doubtfire and the eroticized ambiguity of the androgynous Orlando.
With nearly 50 film stills, this handsome volume is a must for all film and fashion aficionados.
nearly 50 film stills, this handsome volume is a must for all film and fashion aficionados.
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Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Film History and Theory