Recently I ran across a video for Penn that was created in 1957 and documents campus life for a full 30 minutes. There’s some really great footage in here, and you are able to see a lot of detail that’s not as noticeable with still-frame photos like you get in “Take Ivy.”
Here are some highlights:
• 1:10-1:30, 2:20-2:35, 11:20- 12:30 and 17:30-18:00 are scenes straight out of “Take Ivy,” except a decade earlier.
• Check out the classroom close-ups from 9:15 to 10:00. Great examples of three piece suits, repp ties, and tortoiseshell glasses.
• At the 14-minute mark there are several examples of midcentury women’s style.
• Check out the tennis players in all white at 21:25, track and field at 21:30, and rowers starting around 21:40.
• And for scenes of Ivy League football in its heyday, jump to 23:30. Fun fact: John Heisman, pioneer of the forward pass and namesake of the trophy, was a Penn alum and head coach. — MARK CHOU
In his new film “Moonrise Kingdom,” which kicks off the Cannes film festival on May 16, writer-director Wes Anderson is stepping up the prep.
Anderson has consistently shown a keen eye for style in his films, at times incorporating prep elements, such as the uniform of blazers, blue oxfords and rep ties at the eponymous academy in “Rushmore” (filmed partly at the St. John’s School in Houston, which Anderson attended). In a recent article, the French newspaper Libération referred to Anderson as “le dandy texan.”
But more often than not, those prep elements were part of a more electic whole. In “Rushmore,” for example, the protagonist finishes off his uniform with Rod Lavers with red laces and a red beret. As one of his producers says, Anderson’s “previous movies always existed in a time that you couldn’t quite place, mixing past and present.”
By contrast, in “Moonrise Kingdom” we are very clearly in trad territory. The setting is “an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965,” according to the synopsis on the film’s website.
Helping to set the scene are the madras pants, navy cardigan and tortoise-shell P3 glasses worn by Bill Murray, who plays a lawyer and the father of a girl who runs away. In an article on the website about the costumes, Murray describes the madras pants as being “made out of separate squares of loud material sewn together.” He also laments that “they’re so short.”
Bruce Willis, playing the local sheriff, also sports P3s, of the clear-frame variety. And scoutmaster Ed Norton’s robe and tent are a riot of plaids (despite the fact that the name of the troop he leads is the “Khaki Scouts”). Even the narrator, played by Bob Balaban, gets in on the LL Bean act, wearing duck boots in the movie poster.
The film was shot in Rhode Island, and “there is definitely that certain New England feel to it,” the film’s art director says. The set decorator adds, “This movie has a bit of a different aesthetic than Wes’ other movies; it’s a little more rough around the edges, and a little more lived-in.”
Filmgoers and trad aficionados alike can judge for themselves when “Moonrise Kingdom” hits U.S. theaters on May 26. — MATTHEW BENZ
Matthew Benz is an American writer and lawyer living in Paris.
Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis film project is apparently climbing slowly but surely through the rings of development hell, though the light of day may be miles away.
According to reports, the music rights have been secured and there’s a script that focuses on one 36-hour period of the jazz great’s life. Perhaps befitting a small budget (which it has yet to secure), the project is not a conventional biopic with an A to B narrative arc.
Brooklyn-based The L Magazine recently ran an interview with Whit Stillman in which the filmmaker, whose latest opus “Damsels In Distress” is currently in theaters, opined on the preppy garb that has filled his previous films, especially “Metropolitan.” Here are the quote highlights:
“Take Ivy” looks terrible.
I’ve never worn sneakers or sweatshirts in my life.
I decided the moment I graduated from college that I would never wear blue jeans again
Normally, if you wait long enough, Ralph Lauren will bring it out.
I really like Bass Weejuns because they’re the cheapest leather shoes you can buy.
My favorite thing are comfortable, cotton trousers. I really like those sort of challenging colors. That summer of Nantucket look: men who are macho enough to wear pastels.
Today in 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” was published. A cage-match between old money and new, it is regarded as the greatest American novel by many literary critics.
As you’ve probably heard, a new film adaptation is scheduled to be released this year on Christmas Day. It is directed by Baz Luhrmann and will be in 3-D. I suspect that the common reaction of “Why 3-D?” is precisely the reason for it.
Pictured above are Joel Edgerton and Toby McGuire as the film’s two Yalies.
Should’ve had Ralph make the clothes, as he did the last time around. — CC