Style Resolutions for the New Year from Joan Didion to Annie Hall

The nature of the New Year lends itself to reflection and resolution. One looks on the tangible past with a certain tenderness for the good times and a desire to resolve the bad for future betterment. We write lists of goals as a response to society’s overwhelming call to action on the first of January, and we carry these lofty goals with us as we proceed into the future hopeful that these resolutions will re-inflate our egos and protect us from making the same mistakes that we made in the past.

However, too often our resolutions are too lofty, too overwhelming to really stick to past January 5th or so, when our lives returns to their crazy, busy normality not buffered by the holidays and PTO days.  So this year I decided to make resolution that were doable that I could work on right now and every day go forward, little things that I feel I could stick to even when life gets crazy again.

One of said daily intentions is to reinvigorate my personal style and not in a way that requires the purchase of a whole new wardrobe. So in sticking to the customary reflection and resolutions I turned to the past, gleaning inspiration from my sartorial heroes in order to improve my future style choices and make old pieces feel new again. I’ve learned that you can definitely teach an old skirt new tricks.

The following women, whether fictional or real, inspire me on a daily basis to dress in a way that articulates a specific story.

Joan Didion

Joan Didion published her first novel at 29, wrote of the human experience with objective truth that divulged the denigration of American morals, drove a Corvette, clocked time at Vogue, was bicoastal and took a similar approach to dressing as she did her writing. Valuing simplicity, elegance and restraint, her personal style revolved around oversized black shades and refined sentences lines.

Didion

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin epitomizes the Parisian boho-chic of the 1970s, channeling the innocence of Lolita and the sex appeal of a femme fatale. Famous for her blunt cut bangs, mile long legs, mini skirts and peasant tops, she undoubtedly posses that certain je ne sais quoi. There is no question as to who I hope to be emanating when I wear a white t-shirt, loose jeans and a single gold chain.

Birkin

Anna Karina

Anna Karina, née Hanne Karin Bayer made innocence sexy, paving the way for the likes of Alexa Chung and Zooey Deschanel. She is all bangs and feline-inspired eyeliner. Her style can be distilled to knee-length plaid skirts, frilled collars and ballet flats.  Widely considered the French art-house brunette equivalent to Brigitte Bardot’s blonde bombshell sex appeal, she is both enchanting and intelligent, ingénue and sophisticate.

Karina

Annie Hall

Annie Hall’s slouchy trousers, vests and bowler hats were a welcome change to the era of metallic hot pants and flared bellbottoms.  She single handedly re-introduced the idea of menswear-inspired fashion to the public.  She made layers of tweed and buttoned up shirts feminine and sexy with her charm and confidence. Her free-spirited and effortless style is as brave as it is organic. One can’t help but admire the Charlie Chaplin meets crazy cat lady perfection that is Annie Hall.

Hall

From Woody Allen to François Truffaut, Here’s What You Should Be Seeing This Weekend in NYC

Whether it’s classic Woody Allen or his latest ode to neurosis Blue Jasmine that you’re in the mood for, this weekend there’s plenty of reasons to head down to the cinema. With a generous mix of new releases—from your favorite fetish director Nicolas Winding Refn with Only God Forgives to Josh Oppenheimer and his chilling new documentary The Act of Killing—you can also find yourself disappearing into one of cinema’s most stunning film’s ever made, with L’Avventura still having its run at Film Forum.

So whatever your cinematic fancies, persue our list of the best films playing around New York City this weekend, grab yourself some Twizzlers, and enjoy.

BAM

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Experimental, Graphic Design, and Music Videos
The Secret of NIMH
 
 

IFC Center

The Big Lebowski
Dirty Wars
Escape From New York
First Comes Love
Museum Hours
 
 

Nitehawk

Fruitvale Station
Girl Most Likely
The Bling Ring
Broken Blossoms
Return to Oz
 
 

Landmark Sunshine

Blackfish
Annie Hall
 
 

Film Linc

Breaking Bad Season 1
City of the Living Dead
Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film
Blackfish
Much Ago About Nothing
Bloody Daughter 
Muscle Shoals
 
 

Film Forum

L’Avventura
Computer Chess
The Servant
 
 

MoMA

Happy Anniversary
Shoot the Piano Player
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Fearless
Where the Wild Things Are
 
 

Museum of the Moving Image

Nashville
There Will Be Blood
Night of the Hunter
Making Bad: An Evening with Vince Gilligan

A Pivotal Scene From ‘Annie Hall,’ Rendered In Eggs

You know, it’s a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. We’re all coming back from a three-day weekend, burned out on Netflix or hungover or too full of nitrates from all the Memorial Day weekend BBQ meats. We’re not quite ready for the week yet. So let’s ease into it all with Woody Allen rendered into the unlikeliest of media: hard-boiled eggs.

In a new video from Australian YouTube user occi2907, Melbourne-based illustrator Anita Apostolidis recreates the iconic balcony scene from Annie Hall with Allen and Diane Keaton rendered in ink on brown eggs, an interpretation both cartoonish and faithful, and the video includes the subtitles, of course. Perhaps the eggs are an homage to the joke Allen tells at the end of the film, needing to get rid of a chicken but also needing the eggs, but that’s probably reading a little too much into it. Watch the whole thing below. 

 

[via Heeb]

From Rian Johnson to John Waters, Your Favorite Directors on the Films That Changed Their Lives

There’s always one film that lives inside the hearts of the cinematically minded—the one that opened their eyes, shook their world, and made them keen to the emotional, social, psychological, and physical possibilities that a movie can hold. For me, that was seeing David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive for the first time. I remember feeling as if someone had hit me over the head with a frying pan, awakening something in me that I never knew existed. It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and remains a personal touchstone—a piece of cinema with which I have the most intimate relationship.

In  The Film That Changed My Life, Robert K. Elder interviews 30 directors on their "epiphanies in the dark." After spending a lot of time recently thinking about the way in which my tastes have changed but what will always stay the same, I wanted to share some highlights from Elder’s book, that gives insight into some of the most acclaimed and brilliant filmmakers today, as they reveal the movies that ignited something in them and made them want to make films of their own.

So here are some of your favorite directors on the films that moved them the most—enjoy.

Edgar Wright: John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London

"I’ve always been fascinated by horror films and genre films. And horror films harbored a fascination for me and always have been something I’ve wanted to watch and wanted to make. Equally, I’m very fascinated by comedy. I suppose the reason that this film changed my life is that very early on in my film-watching experiences, I saw a film that was so sophisticated in its tone and what it managed to achieve.

It really changed my life. It’s informed both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. There have been moments of verbal comedy, physical comedy, and tonal comedy. And extreme violence, somehow. Something like AN American Werewolf in London, the idea of having this mix of socially awkward comedy prided by incredibly vivd Oscar-winning horror, was just astonishing—is really astonishing. Horror films never get considered for Academy Awards; it’s incredible that An American Werewolf in London won the first ever makeup Oscar."

Rian Johnson: Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

"It’s magical to me. To this day, I can watch the film and try to analyze it and try to figure out how this little movie works, and it’s almost impossible. I end up getting lost. For me, watching this film is like a kid watching a magic trick.

I’d put it up there with 8 1/2 in terms of a film that personally redefined for me what film was capable of. This was one of the first films I saw that played with form in a brave way, and it paid off.

If anything it has grown in stature in my mind. What it achieved has become even more remarkable. I hate the tendency to say, "Films today don’t do what they used to," because that’s bullshit. In any generation, people are reticent to take the risks that this film does. One thing I’ll say about today versus back then, the idea of taking risks that this film took is frightening because there is less tolerance on the part of audiences today. I’m emotionally affected by it each time I see it. I appreciate what it pulled off."

Danny Boyle: Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now

"My relationship with it, and my relationship wit most films that I love, is not really an intellectual one at all. It’s a passionate, visceral, emotional, one and in a funny kind of way I learned to value and appreciate that more as I go on really, rather than try to ever understand the films.

it’s obviously made at the Everest of megalomania, the absolute peak of, ‘I can do nothing wrong, and I must just push myself.’ And that’s, of course, one of the things celebrated in the film. You do see a film made at the absolute edge of sanity, really. In terms of the indulgence that movies can induce in people. But there’s a great side to it as well because it is his ambition and its about bigness, and I think that’s something we have lost. We now watch big films in terms of impacts and scale. I’m sure we’ll get it back, hopefully. But we really lost big films, these slightly overwhelming, overly ambitious big films. We’ve lost them, for whatever reason: confidence, marketing, whatever other factors you build into it. We do see to have lost that ambitiousness, I think."

Richard Kelly: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil

"I think the greatest thing I learned from Terry is that every frame is worthy of attention to detail. Every frame is worthy of being frozen in time and then thrown on a wall like an oil painting, and if you work hard on every frame, the meaning of your film because deeper, more enhanced. New meaning emerges in your story because of your attention to detail. It is also developing a visual style that is your own, that is hopefully unlike anything that has been done before.

I think Terry has one of the most pronounced, specific visual styles of any filmmaker. He gave me something to aspire to as a visual artist but also as a storyteller, as one who aspires to be a social satirist.

In this film, what Terry was doing—the level of detail, the complexity, the overwhelmingness of it all—I guess it challenged me. I guess that’s how I’ve always been. Maybe I just saw part of myself there."

John Waters: Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz

"Girl leaves a drab farm, becomes a fag hag, mets gay lions and men that don’t try to molest her, and meets a witch, kills her. And unfortunately, by a surreal act of fetishism—clicks her shoes together and is back to where she belongs. It has an unhappy ending.

When they throw the water on the witch, she says, ‘Who would have thought good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?’ That line inspired my life. I sometimes say it to myself before I go to sleep like a prayer.

I was always lookin’ for something that other people didn’t like, or people were frightened of, or didn’t care for. I was always drawn to forbidden subject matter in the very, very beginning. The Wizard of Oz opened me up because it was one of the first movies I ever saw. It opened me up to villainy, to screenwriting, to costumes. And great dialogue. "

Richard Linklater: Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull

"The film pulled me in so dark and deep. It was the boldness of the movie. in the era of feel-good movies, touchy feel stuff was all over the place, and man, this movie was unafraid. It was so brave to depict such a flawed, unlikable, scary guy.

It made me see movies as a potential outlet for what I was thinking about and hoping to express. At that point I was an unformed artist. At that moment, something was simmering in me, but Raging Bull brought it to a boil.

I remember telling people, some of my buddies, ‘Oh you gotta go see this movie,’ and they’re like, ‘Uh, yeah. Maybe.’ And even that girl I went with, we broke up shortly thereafter because she said it was boring. I was so mad. I’d had, like, this huge experience, and she walked out and goes, ‘Eh, it was kind of boring.’ I was like, ‘Who am I with? This is crazy!’ That was the end of that. A guy wants his girlfriend to at least appreciate that part of him. It’s every guy’s fantasy to have a girl who, if she doesn’t think that those films are great, at least can see why you like them, and tolerate it."

A History of Cinema Awaits in this Supercut of 4th Wall-Breaking Movie Moments

Supercuts celebrating the world of film are pretty commonplace and usually dedicated to some major plot device, trope or cliché, but here’s a wonderfully diverse one that uses a theme we all recognize. Film buff Leigh Singer has made a supercut of more than 50 movies that have used breaking the fourth wall as a key device or as part of a pivotal scene. From the humorous (lots of Mel Brooks, most notably the cavalry charge onto the musical set in Blazing Saddles) to the gutting (Alex the Drooge’s haunting gaze in A Clockwork Orange), Singer’s exploration travels across era and genre. And, of course, Ferris Bueller is there, as is Rob Gordon.

As a result, what we end up with is not just a montage of variations on this device, but an homage to some of the most brilliant and memorable film moments of all time. Gems include the Marshall McLuhan scene from Annie Hall, the conversation/stereotype rattle-off from Do The Right Thing, Charlie Chaplin’s iconic speech from The Great Dictator and, one of the most chilling fourth-wall breakages of all, Anthony Perkins’ sinister smirk from the final scene of Psycho. It’s rather lengthy for a supercut, but well done and a great look at the diversity of what seems like such a simple decision. Watch the whole thing below. 

Breaking the 4th Wall Movie Supercut from Leigh Singer on Vimeo.

The Stunning Covers of Midnight Maurader’s Criterion Collection Series

More than just possessing the best in international, avant-garde, rare, and classic cinema, the Criterion Collection provides us with an artifact. We get to enjoy a beautiful mastering of a film, bonus materials and critical analysis of the work, with the actual casing of the film a treasure in itself. The covers for Criterion films are a unique art, visually stunning, small-scale works of graphic design intended to entice and highlight the visual and thematic aspects of the film. And designer Midnight Marauder has used his own creative muscle to give us another look at Criterions films from his unique perspective—covers that could have been and those that may never be.

With a sharp vision that encapsulates the essence of the films, Midnight Marauder has a deep love for cinema, and calls his imagined Criterion Collection covers an "artistic exercise" that allows him to work through different aesthetics and have fun in the process. When I asked Midnight Marauder to describe what fuels his work, he replied, "I get my kicks from truly great filmmakers and their enduring legacy on us all—directors who curse at a studio head to get their final cut." We’ve put together some of our favorites from his series. Click through and enjoy.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

"Hands down one of my favorite films of all time. It’s so beautiful, so pure and so poetic."

The Conversation

"It’s as much a Walter Murch film as a Coppola film. The music is divine! 

Fight Club

"I was blown away the second I saw the trailer. What shocked me the most was not the blood and the fights; it was the idea of mental disorder and how you can reinvent yourself in the chaos of it all."

Wild at Heart

"I love the energy of the film, the music is magical, and Dafoe is grotesque."

Revolutionary Road

"Decaprio’s finest hour."

All the President’s Men

"I love journalism and the power of the press. They can bring down the most powerful of crooks."

Mean Streets

"The first student film from a big studio. I think it’s even more powerful today then when it first was projected in New York."

Planet Terror

"A pretty bold move from Robert Rodrigez and Quentin Tarantino. They took a massive gamble on the entire Grindhouse film. Planet Terror is a fun ride for all of us who grew up on cheap VHS Horror Films."

Network

"Sidney Lumet gave us a satirical look into television programming. The first five minutes of the film leave you speechless."

Rosemary’s Baby

"Roman Polanski at his most devilish, and he paid the ultimate price for making it."

Annie Hall

"The ultimate romantic experimental comedy. When I hear Diane Keaton singing at the end…I cry."

No Country for Old Men

"The Coens gave us a modern Western masterpiece. Those brothers can do no wrong."

Jackie Brown

"It’s Quentin Tarantino’s most complete film to date: an adaption of Elmore Leonard’s famed Rum Punch. The characters are whole and seem to sing Tarantino’s dialogue."

Drive

"It’s a modern-day Jean-Pierre Melville picture, with Gosling reminiscent of Alain Delon’s Samurai."

The Exorcist

"Friedkin in my opinion is the most misunderstood director of the ’70s."

Dressed to Kill

"Pure Brian De Palma. I wonder if he’s over his obsession with Hitchcock?"

The Long Goodbye

"I am convinced that the Coen brothers watched this while writing The Big Lebowski."

Where to See a Movie (And What to See) This Weekend in NYC

Well, it’s Friday the 13th again and statistically speaking, that means 21 million Americans are spending their day paralyzed by fear, running around like Melancholia-esque Charlotte Gainsbourgs. But what better way to hide from the demons clawing at your brain or the things that go bump in the night than to sink yourself into a cinema seat and enter someone else’s world for a few hours? There’s something about seeing a midnight movie or even a late night film alone that feels like the ultimate escape from all that’s been plaguing you throughout the week, so we’ve rounded up our favorite films showing throughout the city. Now you have somewhere to hide whether you’re in the company of friends after one too many whiskeys or simply alone and on the run.

IFC Center midnight screenings:

Battle Royale
Blue Velvet
Mannequin
Silence of the Lambs

Film Forum:

Annie Hall
Cape Fear (1962)
Easy Money
 

Landmark Sunshine:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Drive (midnight showing)
The Imposter
Take This Waltz

BAM Rose Cinema:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
Rear Window

Diane Keaton Admits She Was the Inspiration for ‘Annie Hall’

In her new memoir, Then Again, Keaton writes not only about herself, but also about her relationship with her mother. But, duh, you just want to hear the stuff about Woody Allen, right?

In an excerpt in Vogue (via Vulture), Keaton admits that Annie Hall, which was neither her nor co-star (and off-screen ex-boyfriend) Woody Allen’s first feature, played an important part in their careers. And she also gets to the juicy stuff, like how the movie was totally based on their time together.

Most people assumed Annie Hall was the story of our relationship. My last name is Hall. Woody and I did share a significant romance, according to me, anyway. I did want to be a singer. I was insecure, and I did grope for words. After 35 years, does anybody care? What matters is Woody’s body of work. Annie Hall was his first love story. Love was the glue that held those witty vignettes together. However bittersweet, the message was clear: Love fades. Woody took a risk; he let the audience feel the sadness of goodbye in a funny movie.

Thanks for the clarification, Diane! We’d be more concerned if you related more to your character in Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

Keaton’s memoir is a must-read for movie-buffs and those who are HUGE fans of Baby Boom. One other fun tidbit included in the Vogue excerpt? “It seemed like every audition was lost to either Blythe Danner or Jill Clayburgh.” It looks like you won out eventually, Ms. Keaton!

The Most Fashionable Films: From ‘Belle de Jour’ to ‘Auntie Mame’

Aside from magazines, movies are a fantastic source of style inspiration. Both The Times of London and TCM have compiled lists of the most fashionable films ever, and we believe some of these will make both fashion and film fans very happy. Starting with Belle de Jour (pictured, 1967).

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) image

Annie Hall (1977) image

Gone With the Wind (1939) image

Rear Window (1954) image

Auntie Mame (1958) image

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) image