Tag Archives: costumes

Sherlock in Gloucester – On a Bicycle?

22 Jan

I am absolutely fascinated by the photos coming out of Gloucester today.

Be warned.  I am about to speculate on one particular costume.  If you consider costume discussions spoilers then step away from this blog now.  Nothing for you to see here, move along, there’s a good chap…

Have they gone?  They have? Right…

Amanda Abbington’s costume both fascinated and delighted me.  The photos of her walking out of the cathedral with Benedict showed her wearing a very interesting costume.  She was dressed in a Victorian ladies’ bicycling costume.  The advent of the bicycle during the Victorian period created quite a vogue for ladies to take the air in a variety of only slightly scandalous attire.

It’s not the whiff of naughtiness around the costume that fascinated me, but rather the fact that I can think of only two Sherlock Holmes bicycle related things.  One is canon, involving the character Violet Hunter being followed when she cycles, but we are dealing with Mary Morstan here, NOT Miss Hunter.  The other is far more intriguing.

The movie “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” starring Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely had a cycling scene.  Holmes, Watson, and Madame Valladon aka Ilsa von Hoffmanstal (Genevieve Page) cycling around the Scottish Highlands.

Given both Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat’s love of that movie, I am wondering if they are adapting that scene for Sherlock.

Amanda Abbington’s Mary Morstan has much more in common with Ilsa von Hoffmanstal than with Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation.  His Mary was a brave, but put upon, young woman.  Gatiss and Moffat’s creation is an assassin.  Ilsa von Hoffmanstal was a spy.

Mark Gatiss has form for sneaking bits of “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” into Sherlock.  He had me damn near falling off my chair laughing when I watched “The Empty Hearse” after he gave Una Stubbs’ Mrs Hudson one of Irene Handl’s Mrs Hudson’s lines from the movie.

A sudden thought… they were shooting in a cemetery the other day… there is an excellent graveyard scene in “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” as well!!!

Time will tell what they are doing.  I do know one thing.  This synthesis of traditional Holmes/Watson and modern Sherlock is delighting me no end, before it even gets to the screen.

Hollywood Costume Exhibition

28 May

If you happen to be in Melbourne, Australia between now and mid August, do yourself a favour and visit the Hollywood Costume exhibition.  This is being hosted at the ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image) at Federation Square.

I took the time to visit a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it.  The exhibition has quite a large display of costumes from both Hollywood and British movies from the 1930s onwards.

Being a back room geek girl I viewed the entire exhibition in much the same way the kids in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” viewed the chocolate river!

Classic movie buffs will be delighted with many of the costumes.  One that caught my eye was one of Hedy Lamar’s dresses from “Samson and Delilah” made out of peacock feathers!  An exquisite hand sewn work of art!  Each costume has a plaque with interesting little snippets of information about the item.

Recent block busters are not forgotten.  With Christian Bale’s Bat Man costume from “Dark Knight Rising” being a starring attraction. 

Sitting alone in a spot lighted glass case is probably THE costume of all time.  Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from “Seven Year Itch”. 

There is a selection of costumes worn by Meryl Streep in a variety of roles.  For the men there is a selection of Robert DeNiro’s costumes, including the shorts and robe from “Raging Bull”.  I tell you, there is something for everyone in this exhibition.

Despite all the gorgeous, glamorous frocks and gowns, my day was made complete by one item.  Andy Serkis’ motion capture suit from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Accompanying the suit was a video hosted by Andy explaining how the suit worked and demonstrating its capabilities.  My little geek heart damn near exploded.

I only have a couple of small quibbles about the exhibition.  The lighting was too low in general.  Meaning that I walked into, and got stepped on by, strangers on a fairly regular basis.  Not fun.

Secondly, photography wasn’t allowed.  You could buy a souvenir book about the exhibition at the ACMI shop, however, I frankly didn’t have $50 to buy a large coffee table book of every costume, when all I really wanted was tangible memories of several favourite items.

Places like ACMI need to remember that not everyone has the money to buy their over priced souvenirs.

Quibbles aside, if you are in Melbourne and enjoy movies, go and see it.  It’s worth the cost of the entry for Andy Serkis’ motion capture suit alone.

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