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October 05, 2006 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-05

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4B-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 5, 2006

the b-side

The French
are coming,
with pearls
By Rachel Common
Daily Arts Writer
Dewy-skinned female courtiers swathed in pearl-
encrusted, silvery lace dresses sprawl across maroon and
purple velvet sofas. Their white-wigged male counter-
parts drink from silver goblets amid platters overflowing
with strawberries. Elegant brass candelabras and Greco-
Roman stone sculptures flank stone arches and a pink
and orange sunset. This is not a scene from Sofia Coppo-
la's "Marie Antoinette," which will open in U.S. theaters
Oct. 20 - it's an images from the Dolce & Gabbana
fall/winter collection ad campaign, a prime example of
how the buzz surrounding the movie and its sumptuous
costumes has resonated in the fashion world.
The film stars Kirsten Dunst as Antoinette and Jason
Schwartzman as Louis XVI and follows the 19 lonely,
public, lavish years the queen spent at Versailles in the
late 18th century, from her first meeting with royal heir
Louis at 14 and the relentless rumors and complete lack
of privacy she endured as queen to the final days of her
reign during the French Revolution.
Coppola's subject is controversial. Historically, you
either love the notorious French queen, or you hate her.
Notoriously unconcerned and disinterested with politi-
cal matters, Antoinette instead surrounded herself with
an exclusive circle of friends, unconcernedly throwing
money into diamonds, clothes, shoes and cakes, and
hosting late-night gambling parties. Coppola's take,
based on Antonia Fraser's sympathetic account "Marie
Antoinette: The Journey," portrays the queen merely as
a woman whose superficial lifestyle was largely a result
of her girlish naivetd.
But it's the extravagant costumes that are getting
most of the buzz. Costume designer Milena Canonero's
exquisite creations were showcased in the September
issue of Vogue, for which the cast was photographed
in full costume by Annie Leibovitz at the Centre His-


torique des Archives Nationales, Hotel de Soubise
in Paris, where parts of the "Marie Antoinette" were
Leibovitz arranged a party scene in a room of aqua
walls decorated with curly white molding, gilded
mirrors and glittering chandeliers. Dunst looks slyly
angelic in a powder blue silk court dress with delicate
dove-gray lace and metallic silver embroidery detail-
ing the bodice. The gentlemen sport powdered wigs
in low ponytails and white ruffled shirts under coats
with metallic-stitched detailing, breeches and stock-
ings. Surrounding the queen is her coterie, dipped in
silk pastel confections dotted with rhinestones, pearls
and lace. The women don wigs with silk flowers and
marabou feathers.
The grand Rochetti-crafted wigs are sure to receive
accolades. The most flamboyant belongs to Marie her-
self, a beautifully constructed cinnamon-and-sugar
tower rising more than a foot above Dunst's head to a
plateau of curls, a trickle of pink roses trailing down the
side of her porcelain face.
Already poised to win the costume design Oscar,
Canonero's work has been sending shock waves through
fashion circles for a while now. Marie Antoinette's
influence is obvious in Dolce & Gabbana's fall ads, but
her influence doesn't stop there. Oscar de la Renta's fall/
winter ad campaign, set in a hedge maze, showcases a
cobalt duchess satin gown, with puff sleeves and cov-
ered buttons trailing up the front of the bodice. Juicy
Couture - the American company that made it OK to

wear velour tracksuits in public - ironically settled on
a Marie Antoinette-inspired shoot to market their new
Eau de Couture perfume: Debutantes pose in candy-
hued ballgowns among platters of petit fours. In another
photo, a model wears a mile-high pink clown wig that
channels the queen's pouf.
Generally, a no-nonsense, almost somber mood pre-
vailed in this year's fall collections. Austere blacks and
navys are widespread in the collections of everyone
from Ralph Lauren to Tracy Reese to Valentino, with
only a touch of gold or a glimmer of silver to break up
the gloom every so often. The soft pastels in "Marie
Antoinette" stay clear of the runways this season, but
it is the overall atmosphere of a return to formality that
gives the film its dominating fashion presence.
In the early '90s, a young, promising designer named
Marc Jacobs faced immediate dismissal from his posi-
tion at Perry Ellis when he conceived the now-infamous
1993 "grunge collection." Jacobs had been inspired by
the growing influence of the music movement of the
same name which spawned the casual, anything-goes
bent on American fashion and culture that lasted for the
rest of the decade.
Gone were the shoulder pads, pumps and yuppie

Frills, thrills and bouffants: The costuming in
"Marie Antoinette" influences and embraces
fashion's return to women of class.
suits of the '80s - the '90s uniform consisted of flan-
nel, ripped jeans and army boots. Calvin Klein mini-
malism descended onto the American public as well,
making mainstream fashion a bore. Red-carpet dress-
ing, on the other hand, simply increased in tasteless-
ness, the height being Lil Kim's nipple patch accessory
at the 1999 VMAs. It was only a matter of time before
we wanted to look classy.again.
Finally, in the new millennium, celebrities have
attempted elegance on the red carpet, making worst-
dressed lists a lot less embarrassing than a decade ago.
Stars like Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Thereon
have helped bring back old Hollywood glamour and
tasteful sex appeal. The recent "Marie Antoinette"
influence won't be enough to change the entire Ameri-
can fashion landscape, but it's at least helped to infuse
a quiet, formal elegance detailed with simple touches
of luxury into the designer houses which, for now, is a
welcome aesthetic.

So the cult comes
crashing down

A Bizarre bazaar:
Tonight at 'down's

By Jeffrey Bloomer
Managing Editor
If a tenet inherent to the cult
movie is that its genius can only
be understood by a certain num-
ber of people - some niche sub-
set that favors the extravagances
of a certain filmmaker or genre
- then university students are
uncommonly magnetic creatures
when it comes to film. I'm talk-
ing about you, faithful devotee
of "Donnie Darko" and "Boon-
dock Saints," "Fight Club" and
"Garden State," the sort of person
who can hear about, watch and
declare eternal love for a film in
a single day's time. These are the
people who refuse to worship at
the alter of "Old School," opting
instead to stock their shelves with
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
Mind" and its contemporaries, if
only because they make for more
impressive desk ornamentation.
They are, in short, the better part
of the kids who make up your class,
those who with a fleeting sense of
duty flocked to "The Science of
Sleep" last weekend rather than
"Jackass: Number Two," because,
well, it just seemed like the right
thing to do.
There is nothing intrinsically
wrong with this picture, other than
the built-in paradox: Among most
university students, hip, experi-
mental taste in film often amounts
to exactly the opposite, the drably
conformist product of too much of
freshman year spent in the dorms.
You know "Donnie Darko" is the

most visionary American movie
since "Blade Runner" because
the guy in the next door over told
you so (he got it from his older
brother), and before long Facebook
confirms it as the upper echelon of
modern cinema.
There is no science to the pro-
cess, just arbitrary word-of-mouth
campaigns that typically immor-
talize movies with ideas that never
really go anywhere. "Darko," the
alpha and omega of these discus-
sions, is a fascinating film for its
provocations more than for its
actual ideas, which for the most
part are the product of disjointed
philosophizing between a wide-
eyed Jack Gyllenhaal and some
guy who used to be on "ER." No
one got it when it was first released
(and a month after Sept. 11, no
one wanted to get a movie about a
plane crashing and driving subur-
ban teenagers mad), and I suspect
no one gets it now, although that
giant rabbit is the damndest thing
after a joint and a few beers. It's
cool for precisely that reason -
it's a trip, and you can walk away
from it sufficiently perplexed with-
out having to take part in an actual
Others are easier to peg. "Fight
Club" and "Boondock Saints,"
for example, are popular because
coarse gangster violence never gets
old - as long as there's a money
shot of theatrical brutality and a
few good lines to be poorly quoted
between friends, it's in. "Eternal
Sunshine" passes off the same
old break-up movie with original

"Trust me, man. 'The Da Vinci Code' is, like, the best book ever."

framework, which makes people
feel smart while Hollywood brain-
washes them into thinking love is
forever. And "Garden State" is so
totally your life. Besides, you love
that soundtrack.
This is not meant as ridicule,
just observation. Cult films are
historically dismissed when first
released and later glorified by
young people who think they were
ahead of their time, something so
quietly revolutionary that the pre-
vious generation couldn't pick up
on it. The fact is, of course, that the
inanities of youth are forever, and
expounding on them will never get
old. The American college student,
with this in mind, has hijacked one
of Hollywood's classic exploita-
tion industries, the cataloged cult
film, and made it into the status
quo. It's now to the point where
the State Theater picks up mov-
ies released only a few years ago
for its midnight movies, because
more and more students can't be
bothered to go as far back as, say,
"Brazil" or "Dr. Strangelove." The
major studios have all created art-
house divisions that tap into this

pulse almost effortlessly, touting
their Sundance acquisitions (hello
"Little Miss Sunshine") as the
you-should months before they
even hit theaters. The trend surely
has a multitude of actual causes,
but they start here, with the movie
that kid next door told you that,
like, you so had to go rent.
The consequences are many,
but of dubious severity, since most
of the films that fall under this
umbrella do have something to
offer. There is no bona fide Pan-
dora for film (Netflix recommen-
dations, no matter how niftily they
try to perfect them, don't count),
and genuine word-of-mouth is a
force more powerful than any Hol-
lywood marketing firm could hope
to match. There is also the inevi-
table backlash to consider - the
ever-vocal minority who lashes out
at "Garden State" and its fluttering
meditation on youth (never mind
that the screenplay isn't half bad)
- but even that doesn't amount to
much. While social responsibility
dictates that "City of God" is about
as far out as you can go and still
lie comfortably within the cool-
kid mainstream, there is great film
old and new - almost 100 years
of it, in fact - that you're missing.
And so the only person cheated in
this equation, my dear Zach Braff-
revering colleague, is you.

By Andrew Kahn
Daily Arts Writer
Get ready, Ann Arbor. D12's
biggest member is coming to
town. No, not
Slim Shady, Bizarre
but his Tonight
big-bellied At Touchdown's
Bizarre is
scheduled to perform at Touch-
down Caf6 tonight.
One of the more popular
- and certainly more recogniz-
able - members of the Detroit
rap group, Bizarre was able to
generate enough support to start
his own record label (Redhead
Records) and release a solo
album, Hannicap Circus, back
in 2005.
The project wasn't over-
whelmingly successful, but he
did shoot a video for the single
"Rockstar," produced by Emi-
nem, a song that received steady
airplay in Michigan.
Bizarre's extroverted person-
ality and willingness to speak
his mind (most of his lyrics are
not suitable for print) along with
odd behavior such as wearing
shower caps in public, has made
him an amusing character to say
the least.
Add that to his weight prob-
lem, and it was not surpris-
ing that VH1 came calling to
ask "Bizzy" to appear on the
program "Celebrity Fit Club."
Bizarre appeared in the third
season, which aired earlier this
year, and lost an impressive 31


pounds on the show, leading his
team to victory.
Bizarre's performance at
Touchdown's should be highly
entertaining if nothing else. He
owes his fame to Eminem, and
playfully tries to separate him-
self from his more successful
rhyme partner. "For the media,
I got some suggestions / Fuck
Marshall, ask us some ques-
tions like / Who is D12? How'd
we get started?" he raps on "My
Fans can expect Bizarre to
perform some of the singles
from his solo album as well
as some of his verses from the
more popular D12 songs like
"Purple Pills," "Fight Music"
and of course, the ubiquitous
"My Band."


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