Tag Archives: Hitchcock

“STOKER” – The Life and Styles of the Rich and Sophisticated . . .

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“Stoker” is one of those films that only come out once in a blue moon; when we’ve all done our chores, and said our blessings to the universe – then we get a film like “Stoker”.

Complex, beautiful, provocative, wonderfully acted, great dialogue, and stylistically beyond are some words you could use to describe it, but its more the indescribable feelings you are left with after leaving the picture, that truly speak to its prestige in the grand scheme of world cinema.

The term world cinema couldn’t be more appropriate in this case, as Korean Director Park (Chang-Wook of “Oldboy” fame) has choreographed this exquisitely sinister plot in a language foreign to most of the cast and crew. Even while working with the film’s biggest stars, a translator was used to communicate between actor and director. And while this is his first English language film, it will definitely not be his last. As any film buff knows, the language of film is universal, and from the film’s opening shots the director’s eye for detail and acute sensibility sing a song harking back to film makers of a time long gone like Bergman, Hitchcock, and Kubrick.

India Stoker- Classic Vintage Inspired Look by Kurt and Bart

Many things spoke to us throughout the film, from Clint Mansell‘s (“Black Swan”) haunting score, the incredibly articulated and imaginative Production Design of Therese De Prez (another “Black Swan” veteran), Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”) and Erin Wilson’s sophisticated script, as well as the acting chops of Matthew Goode ( playing against type as the mysterious Uncle with a dark past), Nicole Kidman (the lonely and vindictive mother), and most especially Mia Wasikowska, as India Stoker, the film’s protagonist.

This young starlet is always good in everything she is in, but almost expertly does she manage to tackle this role which requires her to be many things, most of the time without many words, making for a most appreciated and most memorable character in the past decade.

Surrounded by Saddle Shoes- India Stoker Style Stunner

But what stood out in particular for us here at The Eye of Faith, had to be the incredible costume design by designer duo Kurt & Bart, who put together the looks to fully realize these strange personalities.

Indeed, they are very rich and very sophisticated, and from the moment India walks onto the screen in her crocodile skinned LaBoutins, flowy skirt and floral silken blouse – you just knew you were in for a style treat with this one.

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In fact, throughout the film, the costumes play a great deal in helping enrich the story being told throughout. The designers point out a green Marni cardigan, worn during the film’s strange piano duet, noting how the colour of the cardigan matches the colours of the walls in her own house, symbolizing India’s captivity.

Also signature to the film’s main theme is a pair of shoes – saddle shoes, to be exact, which represent the more child-like and homely version of India, before she foregoes her inevitable transformation into womanhood.

India Stoker - Vintage Fashion Inspiration- Style Idol of Tomorrow

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India Stoker- The preraphaelite muse- nouveau gothic- style stunner inspiration- vintage fashion reinvention

While the film displays a nod to the 1950s with the styling of India, the duo point out that no vintage was harmed in the making of this film.

Instead, they studied day dressed and blouses from the era and used them as inspiration in the creation of India’s wardrobe, adding extra details, and unique clasps and fastenings that would indicate India’s obsessively detailed nature, as well as her rejection of the everyday – that’s my girl!

She is not of this world, but of her own, and throughout the film we are by her side in  her own elevated sense of reality.

The Spider Crawls Up Indias Saddle Shoes

I’m gonna bet there’s already been a rise in saddle shoe sales, and I’m hoping to see more girls unafraid to rock a pretty blouse and skirt combination. After all, its all in the attitude – the India Attitude.

She’s definitely a new idol of sorts; Nouveau-Gothic, in a way, with her pastel coloured blouses, and prim and proper way of dress, but grossly morose in her attitude and presentation to the world around her.

She is a representation of that breaking point from teen to adult, and that indefinite feeling of not belonging to the world that surrounds you, and doing everything you can to not fit into it. She’s a strange poster child for our generation, in that way.

There’s no doubting the staying power of this film, and in 25 years from now, we will still be looking back on this one as a great one on the level of psychological horrors like “The Shining” and “Rosemary’s Baby”. Even compared to those great classics, there is something very different here with “Stoker” that cannot be compared. Perhaps it is the contemporary nature of the story, and it taking place today that is very different.

These days American films don’t often delve into the lives of the rich and sophisticated to come out with a vision so twisted and maniacal, so perhaps it is the appropriateness of this action that really helps speak to the “nowness” of it all. There is no denying the conspiracies and secrets of the world’s most affluent families, and as history as shown us, they often hide the most terrible and terrifying secrets . . .

Finding The Letters She Never Received

“Stoker” is a glimpse on what might just be the truth behind the family with the mansion, the housekeeper, the beautifully kept lawn, the designer furniture, valuable antiques, most incredible designer clothing, and carved stone art just laying about in the garden. After all, you never know . . .

From the very beginning it will really keep you guessing, but be warned – its not for the faint of heart. This is a thriller, and while director Park describes his film as a modern fairy tale, don’t be expecting ponies and rainbows from this one. There is a glass slipper at the end of it all – though be them black crocodile LaBoutins at the end of it all, which maybe a few hours afterwards will really strike you as a funny “Happy Ever After” to this very modern Fairy Tale; a fairy tale that, unlike most,  challenges its audiences, and asks you to question the characters motives and uncover their vices to help us question ourselves and our own everyday anxieties.

So if there’s one thing you get up to this week its getting your butt out the door to see this film!

Stoker- Opening Shots

This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its colour, we are not responsible for what we come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free. And to become adult, is to become free.

-India, “Stoker” {2013}.

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Dying for the look? Stay Tuned to The Eye of Faith for the tools to recreate Stoker’s sensual 1950s reinvention!

Shotguns and Saddle Shoes - Stoker Style

Until we meet again!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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The Art of Credits – Saul Bass’ Unique Stamp on Culture

Saul Bassis the iconic film maker and graphic designer who is best known for his iconic opening sequences, poster designs, and corporate logos. Google celebrates his 93rd birthday today, so if you’re searching Google  you will see the ode to Saul’s design for the  “Anatomy of a Murder” poster, a classic from 1959.

{You can learn a bit more about the master face to face here}

It is men like he, whom with some creativity and unique individual thought changed the course of modernity forever. We thought we would remember Saul too, by posting some of our personal favourite opening title sequences over the years. You can let us know which one was your favourite in the COMMENTS below.

Don’t forget to let us know if we didn’t include your favourite, what favourite it is!


+ SAUL BASS {MAY 8, 1920 – APRIL 26, 1996 } + 

So . . . .?

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Festival De Cannes 2013 Line Up : A Past, Present, and Future of Cinema + Style

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The Festival de Cannes is upon us again, and if you were with us last year, we had a lot of fun covering the ups and downs of this iconic film and fashion event. After all, Cannes is a place where stars are born, and if you’re looking to get ahead of the game (any game, really) its best to stay up to date with all the festivities.

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8.vintage natalie wood cannes

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One moment an unknown is sky rocketed to unbelievable heights of stardom, fame, and critical acclaim for just one night at the star-studded gala that has been in existence since 1946.

This year promises to be as extravagant and elegant an affair as ever, with Baz Luhrmann’s epic telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” to open the competition. The film promises to bring back the Jazz Age with a roaring velocity only the 21st Century could handle.

Other notable candidates competing for the grand prize, the Palm D’Or, are Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewellyn Davis” starring Justin Timberlake and Gatsby co-star Carey Mulligan, Takashi Miike’s “Straw Shield“, François Ozon’s “Young and Beautiful“, Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska“, Roman Polanski’s “Venus in Fur“, and our much-anticipated favourite “Only God Forgives” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, which offers up a bad-ass vision of crime and the underworld set in the sweltering heat of Thailand and stars Ryan Gosling in the lead role (click here to watch trailer).

Also taking off at the festival is Sofia Coppola’s latest film on the scandal and psychology of “The Bling Ring” – the infamous crew of L.A. socialite-wannabes who took media outlets by storm after being caught in a string of celebrity burglaries. The film kicks off the Un Certain Regard category which also includes James Franco’s “As I Lay Dying“. Based off a novel by William Faulkner, the film is written, directed, and stars the offbeat actor, so hopefully people can start giving the guy a little more credit around these parts!

And if you’re not a fan of the contemporary film scene, not to worry, as the Cannes Film Festival line-up has built in dozens of classic films to showcase and celebrate at this year’s festival, showing that  film past is just as powerful as film present, if not even more. After all, where would we be today without some of the great boundary-breaking films that got us here?

Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra”

Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley - la pleine soleil

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley in “La Plein Soleil”

These films are icons of style as well as cinema, and include in the line up Alain Resnais’s stunningly poetic “Hiroshima, Mon Amour” (starring “Amour”;s Emanuelle Riva), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s elaborate and sumptuous “Cleopatra”, Jacques Demy’s charmingly whimsical “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”, Jean Cocteau’s “La Belle et la Bette” , Bernardo Bertolucci’s vivid 80’s epic “The Last Emperor”, and the creme de la creme of vintage menswear movies “Le Plein Soleil”, starring E.O.F. Style Idol Alain Delon as Patricia Highsmith’s cunning antihero Tom Ripley in Renee Clement’s classic 1960 film.

Another of the classics they are bringing to the screen at this year’s festival is Alfred Hitchock’s 1958 masterpiece “Vertigo”. To celebrate the new restoration of the film, the festival has invited the film’s star, Kim Novak, as the guest of honour to the Festival.

The film was not well-recieved well at all in the US upon its release, and misunderstood it remained for many years before the French propped it up for discussion as proof of Alfred Hitchcock’s auteurism (a term for a true artist of the cinema), so its no surprise to see the film celebrated to this day for its subtle artistry in creating an unsettling dreamlike mood that permeates throughout the entire story of “Vertigo”.

Here I was born, and there I died. It was only a moment for you;

you took no notice.

-Madeleine, “Vertigo”

[POP CULTURE MOMENT: Do you remember hearing the “Vertigo” soundtrack at the beginning of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” music video? Listen back to the narrative opening of the full music video and you can hear “Vertigo” ‘s haunting theme . This theme is one of Bernard Hermann’s most iconic compositions, second maybe only to the blitzkrieg of strings in “Psycho”. Click here to see.]


It’s stylish, cool, classy, and the twist at the end is bloody brilliant. There might never be another movie like it. We suggest you rent this classic and make a night in watching this with a glass of vino and pretend you’re at Cannes, then dress up like Jimmy Stewart the morning after.

Check out the official website for the full details and for more information about the 2013 Fesbertival De Cannes. If you can’t be there this year, be sure to check back for more updates as they come!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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BONUS: E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {November 6, 2012}

{Tippie Henderson get’s a Spark from a Bird… guess they’re not so scary after all.}
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Hamming It Up With Hitchcock! Hopkins Plays the Hitch in new film “Hitchcock”

So the trailer is out for Fox Searchlight‘s latest cinematic craving “Hitchcock“; a biopic starring Anthony Hopkins as the famed director during his trials and tribulations during the makings of his iconic film, “Psycho“.

The film features a roster of talent that include Jessica Biel as actress Vera Miles, Scarlett Johansson as the lead with the bad deed, Janet Leigh, Toni Collette as dedicated production assistant Peggy Robertson, and Helen Mirren as his loving and loyal partner-in-crime Alma Reville.

Set for release on November 23, expect the master of suspense to inspire and influence us all once again! From the looks of the trailer, this Hitchcock shows great panache when it comes to business, a savvy for story telling, and a committed loving and working relationship with his wife, Alma.


“Suspense is like a woman. The more room she leaves to the imagination, the greater the emotion and the expectation. The audience is much more frightened by what it imagines than by what it actually sees. There’s nothing terrifying about an explosion, only the expectation of it.”

-Alfred Hitchcock to Bernard Parkin

It was around the time of “Psycho“‘s release that the British born director began garnering notice for his unique artistic contribution to popular culture and the cinema. The french in particular took a special admiration for the director, who they formidably christened a grand auteur of the medium – a worthy honor (they don’t take that term lightly, en France).

Indeed, his films inhabit a very special singular world, one which can only be simplified to a single term: Hitchcock.

The settings of his stories become a collage of reality, dreaming, and desire. The inhabitants are as stylized and edited as the story lines – always modern and even hip; the heroes are all dashing, the man Hitchcock idolized for himself, and the heroines typically blonde with assets.

They all play pawns in a wicked game of cat and mouse meticulously planned and drafted by Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, script supervisor and Hitchcock’s private second set of eyes (it was her who noticed Janet Leigh swallowing after her death scene which would later have to be altered from the negative).

When actors asked their motivation for a scene, he simply stated “Your salary”. If they couldn’t push to the emotional degree he needed for the scene, he said “Fake it”. And when asked if he felt actors were cattle, he quickly corrected that he only felt they should be “treated” as such.

While Hitchcock never won a coveted Best Director statuette at the Academy Awards, he did receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy for his contributions to the industry.

It was an impressive career lasting from the early 1920s up to his last film in 1976, “Family Plot“.

There’s no denying the influence the man has had on popular culture. Many suggest there wouldn’t have been a James Bond if it weren’t for “North by Northwest” kicking off the action genre the way he it did. Others cite Hitchcock for his innovation in the medium, always adapting and quickly changing with the times.

Designers such as Alexander McQueen have cited Hitchcock’s influence, and with “Hitchcock” kick starting you can expect to see more and more of the master’s presence come into play.  Best thing is, both men and women can easily cite these films for alluring, modern, and sophisticated looks that will have everyone saying “WHOA”.

And for as dark or complex his story lines took him, he was always able to hold on to his enviable sense of humor. From his various walk-on parts in every film, to the character he invented of himself – Hitchcock was a wildly entertaining individual drenched in that very dry, very British sense of humor.

Hopefully “Hitchcock” hits the nail on the head with his one, but with such a talented cast and crew, and the impeccably talented Sir Anthony Hopkins at the wheel, there’s no doubt in my mind this film will continue to pave the legacy that we can simply sum up as his very own.

We picked out some of our favorite photos of the Hitch hamming it up for the camera to get those creative juices flowing, and to show the softer, sillier side of this irreverent genius.

For more Hitchcock style, we recommend “Hitchcock Style” by Jean-Pierre Dufreigne. A fantastically illustrated book from Assouline, full of insight into the sum of the parts that make for the iconic Hitchcock look. Check it out!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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<<Check out the British Film Institute’s Ode to Hitchcock>>

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {August 15th, 2012}

{Grace Kelly on the set of High Society by Dennis Stolk. Circa.1956}

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E.O.F. Style Divinity : Neile Adams AKA {WOMAN FROM THE SOUTH}

Ruby Neilam Salvador “Neile” Adams (born July 10, 1932) is a Filipino actress, singer and dancer who made more than twenty appearances in films and television series between 1952 and 1991. Most notably famous for being the first wife of iconic and enigmatic star, Steve McQueen, being married to the man from 1956-1972.

Neile was born in Manila, in the Philippines July 10, 1932 . Her mother, Carmen Salvador, was of German, Spanish, and Filipino descent, and her father was of English, Chinese, and Filipino ancestry. Her mother, a dancer, was the sister of basketball player and actor Lou Salvador. She was a girl on an island with star’s in her eyes, and the world was her oyster.

But the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor and all Hell broke loose in Manila.  Japanese occupation began and Neile and her mother were taken prisoner and were put in a concentration camp on the grounds of Santo Tomas University where they would spend three terrifying years.
Liberated by America, Neiles family would find freedom in the United States, she’d enrol at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance.  With a prize scholarship and exotic beauty, Neile Adams could feel her dreams waiting for her around the corner.  She became a model for crime and detective magazines (which Steve McQueen would modestly do around the same time, the pair never meeting at these shoots).  It was a decent way to make money but embarrassed her mother and she quit speaking to her.

She’d bump into a young, blonde actor around restaurants, but the two didn’t formally meet until Neile was on a date with actor/producer Mark Rydell.  McQueen would privately make it known to Rydell that this young exotic gorgeous woman, Neile, was going to be his! The two fell madly in love, opening each other’s eyes to new worlds and passion neither had known before.  The two lovers would marry November 2, 1956, only four short months after meeting.

The pair starred in a memorable episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents  television series in 1960 called “Man from the South” based on a short story by Roald Dahl.  Though Neile’s charisma and clear star potential always shines through in any scene, it was her husband who insisted his wife give up her day job on stage and film, and take on the full-time duties of being a housewife.  Without hesitation, the young budding starlet succumbed to her man’s ego and a custom of the times,  and gave up on her own dreams of stardom and used her own already established Hollywood connections to help Steve McQueen’s acting career get off the ground, and thrive.  For years, as his career failed to ignite, he leeched off the successful dancer’s money — spending her earnings on new cars, drugs and other women.

When he landed a small role in the film of Harold Robbins’s trashy novel, “Never Love A Stranger”, only days passed before he embarked on an intensely sexual affair with the film’s leading lady actress Lita Milan — and then proudly told his wife about it.  According to Neile: ‘Lita would be the first in a long line of flings that would plague me throughout our married life. OK, I thought, I can handle it — I have to — as long as he doesn’t flaunt it.’

Full of inadequacy and doubt, the young dancer settled into a life of staying home to raise her two children with McQueen, and evenings of seclusion, boiling up high grade Peyote Steve would by from the Navajo Indian, while Steve would disappear getting stoned off cocaine, LSD, amongst other experimental drugs with his abundance of Hollywood-hanger-ons.

McQueens philandering ways would prove to save his life on one fateful day.  He was invited to a party at Sharon Tate’s house on the afternoon of August 7, 1969, which he had every intention of attending, until a phone call from a blonde mistress of his at the time distracted him from the festivities.  He barely avoided the Charles Manson Massacre, where Sharon Tate, amongst others he knew well and others he never knew where all savagely murdered.

The constant betrayals and drug fuelled arguments would prove to be more devastating for the once infectiously loving couple.  Neile Adams could no longer live within a tumultuous marriage and a life of disillusioned success.  After incidents of adultery accusations, loaded gun death threats and an escalating abusive marriage she would be the one to file for divorce and the two would be divorced by 1972.   Neile remained to be one of McQueens closest confidantes until he would pass away from lung cancer in 1980.


“My life and times with Steve had spanned twenty-four years. More than half my life at the time of his death. They were over now. Gone. Finished.

That he loved me and that I had been the most important person in his life, I have no doubt.  That I loved him and that he had been the most influential person in mine cannot be denied.

Good-bye, my friend. You are missed. It sure was one hell of a ride.”
Neile Adams. 

Neile would go on to find another love for herself.  She met Alvin Toffel at a luncheon for her friend, Princess Grace of Monaco. He was as interesting a man as he was handsome and confident enough to live with and support Neile’s memories of the iconic Steve McQueen. He was an air force fighter pilot  and an engineer with the Gemini and Apollo Space programs. He and Neile married on January 19, 1980 and would remain husband and wife for the rest of his life when he passed in 2005.

Neile has written an in depth and honest perspective about her life and marriage to McQueen in her Memoirs, My Husband My Friend. She also offers many commentaries in various Steve McQueen specials, always honouring the memory of her late and beloved husband.   We wanted to take some time to honour and appreciate Neile herself who lived through so much and still shines bright like a true star.

{The Eye}

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PhotoBlast: Music Lovers of Every Generation


We take in the soundtrack of daily life, like it or not.  It’s handed out and eaten up.  But what we don’t tune out, sometimes can bring us true bliss.  We find ourselves groovin’ on this collection of pictures and decided to share our buzz with you.   Images through the eras, of music lovers like both you and me.


Any favourites?
The Eye.

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Mr. & Mrs. Mystery: Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2012 Campaign

Count on Jil Sander to take it to the other end of the spectrum, this time with their enigmatic new campaign images for their Spring/Summer 20012 Campaign. If there’s one thing I’m buying from Willy Vanderperre’s shoot it’s having a sense of mystery!

The campaign has left many fashion critics in the dark, and a little scared. But anyone who knows The Eye of Faith knows we aren’t afraid of anything- especially the dark! Vanderperre teeters on the edge with a lucid dreaminess with a definite Hitchcockian vibe.

Models Daria Strokous, Clement Chabernaud, and favourite, Natasha Poly- all bring their unique characteristics to really make this campaign scream!

“As far as we discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

-Carl Jung.

“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.”

-John Rushkin.

We will definitely look forward this season to find more of that beauty in the deep dark. Are you going psycho for this new campaign like we are? Let us know in the comment section below!

Until next time,

-The Eye x

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