Fading Fast

Connoisseur
From the 1948 movie "Rope" (comments here: #542 ).

While probably not really Trad (not that I truly know what that term means anyway), I thought this heavy wool, three piece, with a faint herringbone pattern, three button (not 3/2), single breasted, peak lapel suit worn by Jimmy Stewart was worth noting. Also, check out his gorgeous pin-dot (is that the right term?) tie and collar pin.

db2b24de07ed306c4a427df6f2cb866f.jpg
c605cdf8a3e5753756e85cc56e3ef43a.jpg
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drpeter

Super Member
Nice images! Rope is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film, and I think I last saw it when I taught a film class on the cinema of Hitchcock in collaboration with my film professor colleague and good friend Roger Bullis, here at the university. That was in the late 1990s.

I love Stewart's suit, especially the lapels which are rolled properly. These days, dry cleaners often press lapels flat, ruining the elegance of a well-cut lapel. I had to work very hard to get my own cleaners to understand what I wanted, and I used to give them diagrams to show their worker how to do it. Should have send them photos, never thought of that! Their unwanted pressing can be undone, though, using a clothes steamer.

However, I think the tie is a simple twill weave, sinilar to the one you see on trousers. Pindots would be very small dots, usually white against a solid background. Here's an example of a pindot fabric:

1609430560022.png


This is a twill weave (if you enlarge it, you will see the clear diagonal weave):

1609430823797.png
 
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Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Nice images! Rope is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film, and I think I last saw it when I taught a film class on the cinema of Hitchcock in collaboration with my film professor colleague and good friend Roger Bullis, here at the university.

However, I think the tie is a simple twill weave, sinilar to the one you see on trousers. Pindots would be very small dots, usually white against a solid background. Here's an example of a pindot fabric:

View attachment 52845

This is a twill weave (if you enlarge it, you will see the clear diagonal weave):

View attachment 52846
Thank you, that makes sense.

It's very neat and impressive that you taught film.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Thank you, that makes sense.

It's very neat and impressive that you taught film.
You're most welcome.

Hitchcock is one of the most psychological of all directors, and these days people in my discipline (the cognitive sciences in general) are studying both cinema and literature from the perspective of cognitive psychology -- perception, memory, language, etc. I have had a background in appreciating film from early days as a member of a film society which taught me to understand serious, good cinema. My colleague has a background in American film (he wrote a dissertation on noir films, especially Chandler and Hammett), so he thought I would be a good person to work with him to provide some of the international film experience.

I loved teaching across departmental lines -- I taught a course with an English professor on the post-colonial novel (he invited me to do so after he had read my first novel, LOL), and several courses jointly with a philosopher of science on consciousness, mind and brain, etc. Once I slipped in two textbook suggestions into one of my syllabi just for the benefit of friends and colleagues, but kept it from getting into students' hands:

Philosophy of Mind for Dummies
and
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience.

Just good clean fun, LOL.
 

peterc

Super Member
I re-watched The Front (1976) recently. Woody's grey fleck ventless jacket is very nice and it has a half belt in the back. He also wears a nice grey 2 piece suit, that has a watch pocket flap on the right. Makes me think the suit was PRL, but not sure about the jacket. Unlike later WA films, RL's name does not appear on the credits. Incredible movie, by the way.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Yes, it was a good movie, although some critics did not feel that the ramifications of the paranoid style of politics during that time in our nation's history was treated effectively in the film. Two things I remember from my reading about those times:

The gifted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was part of the front, "won" an Oscar for the script of Roman Holiday -- his friend Ian Hunter was the one whose name was on the credits, and who picked up the Oscar. In fact, Trumbo's script for Spartacus was the breakthrough screenplay when he finally got credit for his fine script. And that script is full of allusions to the blacklisting. There's a 2015 film Trumbo which is about his life.

The talented director Joseph Losey (The Servant, King and Country) was lost to the United States as part of the HUAC investigations. Losey, who was from my state (La Crosse, Wisconsin), and attended the same high school in La Crosse that Nicholas Ray attended, moved to England permanently, and made most of his films there. The other notable director from Wisconsin was Orson Welles -- he was from Kenosha, but wasn't involved in any of the blacklisting, at least not to my knowledge.

Many in Hollywood succumbed to the pressure and named names, Edward G Robinson notable among them -- he named Dalton Trumbo to the Committee. And some didn't, Humphrey Bogart being one of those exceptions. Bogie stood up against McCarthy's efforts and held fast -- he did not name names. I've always admired Bogie for that, in addition to the many fine roles he inhabited as an actor.
 
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peterc

Super Member
DrPeter, your above post is fantastic and informative. Thank you. I have seen the Trumbo film - I liked it very much. Waldo Salt was another whose career was severely impacted by the blacklist. He wrote the screenplay for Midnight Cowboy, one of my favorite films. His daughter, Jennifer Salt, played Joe Buck's girlfriend in the movie.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Thank you for your kind words. I have taught film classes in addition to psychology/neuroscience at my university, so one picks up a certain amount of information doing that.

I saw Midnight Cowboy a long time ago. I had heard of Salt at that time, but did not know his life too had been affected by the blacklist. So much craziness, and for what? Human beings can be so deeply flawed, and can also be fooled into going along with every type of lunacy. As we can see, that hasn't changed much in the ensuing years! Oh well.
 
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rl1856

Senior Member
" Yes, it was a good movie, although some critics did not feel that the ramifications of the paranoid style of politics during that time in our nation's history was treated effectively in the film."

For the most part it was a typical WA movie. A local guy from the neighborhood trying to be a "Macher"; a Yiddish term meaning the Boss or someone with power and influence. WA's character gets involved with a women, gets in over his head with his scheme and ultimately someone else pays a large price.

I thought it was a lightweight movie until the end credits. WA made sure to use as many blacklisted movie industry workers as possible. Each name is credited along with their association to HUAC investigations. That touch put everything into perspective, and made you realize that what you saw was not the plight of a few people, but what happened across the country.
 

peterc

Super Member
Thank you for your kind words. I have taught film classes in addition to psychology/neuroscience at my university, so one picks up a certain amount of information doing that.

I saw Midnight Cowboy a long time ago. I had heard of Salt at that time, but did not know his life too had been affected by the blacklist. So much craziness, and for what? Human beings can be so deeply flawed, and can can also be fooled into going along with every type of lunacy. As we can see, that hasn't changed much in the ensuing years! Oh well.
You are so right...
 

drpeter

Super Member
" Yes, it was a good movie, although some critics did not feel that the ramifications of the paranoid style of politics during that time in our nation's history was treated effectively in the film."

For the most part it was a typical WA movie. A local guy from the neighborhood trying to be a "Macher"; a Yiddish term meaning the Boss or someone with power and influence. WA's character gets involved with a women, gets in over his head with his scheme and ultimately someone else pays a large price.

I thought it was a lightweight movie until the end credits. WA made sure to use as many blacklisted movie industry workers as possible. Each name is credited along with their association to HUAC investigations. That touch put everything into perspective, and made you realize that what you saw was not the plight of a few people, but what happened across the country.
You've touched upon something very important.

This technique, if that's the right word, of a film's story-telling is something that I really like: The story proceeds along a certain plane, but then, very briefly, there is a scene, or information revealed, in a very oblique, tangential fashion, which makes you realize that the film is about something else at a deeper level. It requires some patience, but the final effect can be powerful. It is so subtle at times, that the realization is almost a victory on the part of the viewer, an "I get it!" moment.

Among the films I have seen, one stands out especially in its effective use of this method: L'Empire des Sens, (titled In the Realm of the Senses, in the US), a French-Japanese film directed by Nagisa Oshima. It is about the intense, obsessive sexual relationship between a prostitute and the owner of the hotel where she meets her clients, set during the mid-1930s. It's a very controversial film, ostensibly about obsession and intimacy, but there is one brief shot at the very end that changes the entire meaning of the film, in an astonishing way. This is a shot of Japanese soldiers marching off to war, and we realize it is the end of the 1930s and Japan has entered the Second World War. To my way of thinking, this shot changed the significance of all the events that had gone before in the film, and placed those events against a historical backdrop that constituted the subtext of the film, and lent a new meaning to the obsession that the film depicted.

IMHO, a work of art succeeds especially well when it has multiple levels of meaning. As a fiction writer, I know that what is left unsaid in a scene is more important than what is being made explicit. As one matures as a writer, one begins to internalize some of these techniques, so that writing a scene with depth and subtext becomes second nature. As John Gardner maintains, the need for profluence, and for maintaining a "vivid and continuous dream" in the mind of the reader is a necessity for good writing. This is also true for filmmaking, I think.

A wonderful little book by the novelist Charles Baxter, called The Art of the Subtext is a must if one wants to understand the use of subtext in fiction.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Just watched The Talented Mr Ripley again today -- I last saw it in a movie theatre when it came out in 1999/2000. A splendid, dark film. The clothes are, of course, very much in the trad spirit, although there is more variation and some departures, of course. Although the story is set in the fifties, as I recall, some of the production details are not quite spot on, so that there are details of objects that could have been from a later date. But that's a very minor quibble. The late Anthony Minghella's direction is superb, and of course, the editing (which can make or break a film) is by the phenomenal genius Walter Murch. The acting by all four principal actors (Damon, Law, Paltrow and Blanchett) is also superb.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Just watched The Talented Mr Ripley again today -- I last saw it in a movie theatre when it came out in 1999/2000. A splendid, dark film. The clothes are, of course, very much in the trad spirit, although there is more variation and some departures, of course. Although the story is set in the fifties, as I recall, some of the production details are not quite spot on, so that there are details of objects that could have been from a later date. But that's a very minor quibble. The late Anthony Minghella's direction is superb, and of course, the editing (which can make or break a film) is by the phenomenal genius Walter Murch. The acting by all four principal actors (Damon, Law, Paltrow and Blanchett) is also superb.
Agreed. It's a fun movie and visually beautiful. My comments on it here #400 (but please feel free to ignore as we all have a lot going one).
 

drpeter

Super Member
And don't forget: A crisp white dress with pearls, a snappy skirt suit, and a comfy tartan dressing gown. The future is female, Faders. I have a magnet that says so on my fridge door, so it must definitely be true. If we don't pay attention to the smarter sex, we are doomed. As our own Eagle often reminds us in his Platonic discourses on SWMBO.
 

rl1856

Senior Member
You've touched upon something very important.

This technique, if that's the right word, of a film's story-telling is something that I really like: The story proceeds along a certain plane, but then, very briefly, there is a scene, or information revealed, in a very oblique, tangential fashion, which makes you realize that the film is about something else at a deeper level. It requires some patience, but the final effect can be powerful. It is so subtle at times, that the realization is almost a victory on the part of the viewer, an "I get it!" moment.

Among the films I have seen, one stands out especially in its effective use of this method: L'Empire des Sens, (titled In the Realm of the Senses, in the US), a French-Japanese film directed by Nagisa Oshima. It is about the intense, obsessive sexual relationship between a prostitute and the owner of the hotel where she meets her clients, set during the mid-1930s. It's a very controversial film, ostensibly about obsession and intimacy, but there is one brief shot at the very end that changes the entire meaning of the film, in an astonishing way. This is a shot of Japanese soldiers marching off to war, and we realize it is the end of the 1930s and Japan has entered the Second World War. To my way of thinking, this shot changed the significance of all the events that had gone before in the film, and placed those events against a historical backdrop that constituted the subtext of the film, and lent a new meaning to the obsession that the film depicted.

IMHO, a work of art succeeds especially well when it has multiple levels of meaning. As a fiction writer, I know that what is left unsaid in a scene is more important than what is being made explicit. As one matures as a writer, one begins to internalize some of these techniques, so that writing a scene with depth and subtext becomes second nature. As John Gardner maintains, the need for profluence, and for maintaining a "vivid and continuous dream" in the mind of the reader is a necessity for good writing. This is also true for filmmaking, I think.

A wonderful little book by the novelist Charles Baxter, called The Art of the Subtext is a must if one wants to understand the use of subtext in fiction.
Please forgive including this lengthy but incisive post in my reply.

DrPeter: What are your thoughts regarding Elia Kazan's "A Face In The Crowd" given the past 4yrs of history ?
 

drpeter

Super Member
Please forgive including this lengthy but incisive post in my reply.

DrPeter: What are your thoughts regarding Elia Kazan's "A Face In The Crowd" given the past 4yrs of history ?
I have not seen the film so I can't comment directly. I have heard that it is seen as a precursor to some of the events of the past four years of US history, but without seeing the film, it would be hard for me to comment on the connection. I have also read that Francois Truffaut admired the film, but that was quite some time ago.
 
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