Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
Motion picture costume design is often associated with elaborate historical costumes, although designers also create more modern garments. Using the groundbreaking urban American films of the late 1960s and 1970s, the Academy’s Friday series demonstrated how a designer’s work can be a key element in creating contemporary characters. The work of the featured designers enhanced some of the most memorable performances of the era and complemented the gritty, soul-baring aesthetic of New Hollywood, which found innovative, director-driven cinema briefly holding sway in the industry.
Albert Wolsky’s Oscar-winning designs for All That Jazz cover the gamut from Roy Scheider’s Fosse-esque black apparel to the imaginative look of Scheider’s morbid fantasy world. Rosanna Norton dressed the L.A. drug-and-music scene of Cisco Pike and the hallucinatory horror-rock of Phantom of the Paradise.
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STREET CLOTHES: CONTEMPORARY COSTUMING IN NEW HOLLYWOOD
All that jazz
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 | 7:30 P.M.
Director-choreographer Bob Fosse laid his life bare on the screen with this stylish, Oscar-winning musical drama. Roy Scheider (in a vibrant, Oscar-nominated performance) plays Joe Gideon, whose efforts to balance a troubled Broadway musical, a feature film and a complicated love life force him to come to terms with his mortality. Fosse filled the supporting cast with real-life collaborators such as Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen and Kathryn Doby, and created some of the most dazzling musical numbers of 1970s cinema, including the opening “On Broadway” montage and the groundbreaking “Air-otica.” A remarkably frank self-portrait, All That Jazz won four Oscars including awards for Art Direction, Film Editing, Adaptation Score and Albert Wolsky’s colorful costumes, which depict both the reality of Gideon’s Broadway habitat and his morbid fantasy world.
1979, 123 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Bob Fosse; written by Robert Alan Aurthur, Fosse; with Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen.
Phantom of the paradise
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 | 9:50 P.M.
Introduced by costume designer Rosanna Norton
Writer-director Brian De Palma remade Gaston Leroux’s classic novel The Phantom of the Opera as a horror-rock musical that has remained one of his most visually dazzling movies. Winslow Leach (De Palma regular William Finley) is a talented but naïve songwriter whose ambitious rock version of Faust is stolen by Machiavellian music mogul Swan (Paul Williams, who also wrote the Oscar-nominated song score). Driven mad by a disfiguring accident, Winslow faces off against Swan for the love of beautiful young singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper), culminating in a thrilling finale that shows off De Palma’s pictorial and editorial mastery. A box office disappointment at the time of its release (except in Winnipeg), Phantom has been elevated to cult status, and Rosanna Norton’s imaginative and eye-popping costumes – a direct influence on Daft Punk’s leather-bound, helmet-clad aesthetic – help bridge the film’s wildly disparate genres.
1974, 92 minutes, color, 35mm | Written and directed by Brian De Palma; with Paul Williams, William Finley, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Harold Oblong, Jessica Harper, George Memmoli, Gerrit Graham.