Nazis and Fashion Designers

With this blog post I am going to squeeze in two reviews because I’ve seen two pretty awesome, yet completely different films in the last two days that really are worth mentioning. The two films are of course Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Barsterds and Anne Fontaine’s Coco Avant Chanel, staring the fabulous Audrey Tatou who I have now decided that I love. I will start with Inglourious Barsterds because really it is very typically Tarantino, and very Pulp Fiction, so if you like Pulp Fiction and none of his other films see it because it constructs characters in a similar way to Pulp Fiction. Five things I liked about this movie because I really have to keep this brief and it’s late at night and therefore cannot be bothered making it long. Firstly, Brad Pitt is really good as the leader of the Inglorious Basterds, a group of men whose main job is to ‘killing Nazis’ and then stripping their skulls. Brad Pitt is hilarious in this film from his accent to his strange leadership where he doesn’t really care who dies to him putting on the most horrible Italian accent you have ever heard in your life. He brings energy and humour to the film without really looking like he’s trying too hard which works really well.

Killing Nazis

Killing Nazis

Secondly, is the bar scene in France because my favourite part of Tarantino films is conversation, he somehow creates these fabulous character dynamics and conversation that is so witty and clever. The bar scene that goes for about 45 minutes just captures everything that you want to see as you watch characters untangle each others words, misconstrue things and get themselves into verbal messes as they play celebrity heads. The mixture of accents is entertaining enough. Thirdly is the suspense, the way music builds up to reach a climax but then waits just that little bit longer, relief sets in and then bam bam bam, the screen erupts with violence, or something extreme happens. It’s just precision in filmmaking to time everything to leave you totally blown away, it’s exciting and thrilling. Fourthly, and yes I may sound like a complete film nerd in saying this and maybe my cinema studies has started to impact me but it’s the way Tarantino constructs time, he does it in this way that is truly inspiring, by having two events happening simultaneously on the screen, but in story time representing a different time and space. For instance, without giving anything away how he simultaneously shows the rumifications of an event at the same time that the even is actually happening, so the audience is placed in the head of the person that is first hearing about this event because we first are. I may not be explaining this very well, however I seriously think this is the magic of the film and is done in a way that is not confusing at all. Lastly, the two female actresses, Shosanna Dreyfus particularly, firstly she is completely gorgeous and secondly because you feel her pain, you know what motivates her and I think she is the most sympathetic character in the entire film. Diane Kruger is also excellent in the bar scene and brings this lively presence to the film.

a friendly game of celebrity heads

a friendly game of celebrity heads

And now on to my second film Coco Avant Chanel that stars my second favourite actress at the moment Audrey Tatou, also in Amelie. This film was not what I expected it follows the life of the famous fashion designer before she became famous and really it was intriguing. I’m not going to do the five things I like about it I’m just going to chat about it as there is not so much that distinctive style that Tarantino has. The film is well shot, and the setting is particularly lovely, I especially liked this scene when she first goes to the beach and there are all these markets and people gathered on this bleak day. It just looks amazing and it so well choreographed as she walks right down the middle of all these woman who look the same and she stands out so brilliantly. In fact, throughout the films entirety, from set design to costuming to choreography she sharply stands out from all these elaborately dressed women, while she stands there in a non-corsetted dress or loose suits. The highlights the importance of Chanel on the fashion world, she revolutionised fashion, updated it, without really ever wanting to be a fashion designer in the first place.

Tatou magnificiently standing out in black

Tatou magnificiently standing out in black

However, the predominant thing that makes this film is Tatou, who is absolutely magnificient as this bitter, sweet Chanel, who seems to distaste everything that surrounds her. It really is strange that even though she did grow up in an orphanage she still treated the higher-class world distastefully, she wanted to be part of it, yet as soon as she is in it she wants to leave. Tatou’s bitterness is shown strongly throughout the film’s entirety, where there are only a few brief moments where she graces the audience with a smile, otherwise it is this look of distaste, longing and perhaps a glimpse of fear registered on her face, executed with perfection. She really brings this presence to the film that she really needed to as the Chanel figure, she needed to be everything that she was, she needed to stand dominant to the other characters, and that she did. Where all the mise-en-scene works to contrast her against everyone else, to make her stand out as this dominant figure, that is going to show all these over-dressed ladies what real fashion is.


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