France and Bengal

Think film and fashion in French cinema and one immediately contours up the ravishingly elegant Catherine Deneuve in Belle du Jour. The fabulous wardrobe from the Louis Buñel 1967 film is unforgettable. As is Jean-Louis Godard’s 1960’s Breathless. Closer to our post 2004 time frame are three films that epitomizes French style. The documentary on world famous stylist Carine Rotfeld aptly titled ‘Madamoiselle C’ celebrates the most renowned designer labels, models and photographers over 1 hour 33 minutes.
In 2011, two films stay in memory for chic and costume. The delightful film ‘Delicacy’ with the delicious Audrey Tatou captures style effortlessly. In The Artist, the film that walked away with Best Film at the Oscars 2011. The real pleasure of ‘The Artist’ is that Hazanavicius employs the subtle drama of silent cinema with prudent care. The emotional and musical rhythm in the best way possible. Set in the late 20’s the film naturally has some stunning clothes from Charleston swing dresses to men in tails and top hats.

Like Iranian cinema, Bengali cinema relegated the wardrobe as a secondary prop to the main art of cinema. The characters, emotions and lighting play prime roles. Looking at movies like Satyajit Ray’s Distant Thunder and The Music Room, one cannot but marvel at the beauty of each frame.
In 2010, the best feature film that won the Golden Peacock at IFFI in Goa was Goutam Ghose’s Moner Manush. In the true style if Bengal cinema, our vote for the costume matches the brilliance of the script and story line. The India-Bangladesh joint venture Bengali-language biographical musical drama film is based on the life and philosophy of Lalon, a noted spiritual leader, poet and folk singer of Bengal in the 19th century.

Artwork by Fabian Gonsalves.

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