Movie Reboots + Remakes

It’s Comic Con weekend and the news, trailers, and releases are coming thick and fast. This isn’t exactly a new or hot take, but damn are there a lot of reboots and remakes swarming around. Would you call a belated sequel a form of reboot too? I’m not here to say all remakes/reboots are bad, but quite a few are and it’s beginning to feel rather lazy and pandering.

I understand why it’s attractive for a movie studio to reboot or remake: established audience, lots of guaranteed press, repositioning a movie to be more ‘woke’ to win PR points. It’s all bankable nostalgia cashing in. I don’t know about you, but I’m more psyched for a movie that’s telling a wholly original story. Something unique for the time we live in (not forcibly updated) and with a tale to tell that we don’t know already.

Sometimes the themes and message of a movie from the 80s should exist in its own time capsule, and doesn’t work if you shoehorn it into the society and messaging of 2018. I don’t mind ‘inspired by’ movies or some of the belated sequels, as these can add to the world built in the first movie but still allow them both to stand alone.

I understand that the movie business is eager for franchises – for the financial security – but if a one shot movie is a huge success out of nowhere, rushing a sequel is rarely a good idea. TV too is not immune to this, as we saw with the rushed follow up to True Detective. I’d much rather either no sequel happened, or the film makers and writers were given as much time as they need to make one that feels true to the story instead of a cash grab.

I feel this annoyance most keenly when watching a documentary or a show like Drunk History, which has these amazing true stories of past events or people that would totally make an awesome movie. Why isn’t there a good (drama, serious) Rasputin movie? What about the deviously magical Alastair Crowley? War heroes like Daniel Inouye? Eleanor of Aquitaine? Ir’s not just historical dramas I’m looking for, but original stories. (Maybe they need to buy scripts from women, people of colour, differently abled and discover a whole new trove of stories!)

I think the box office is reflecting that original stories are resonating, from indie movies like The Big Sick and Lady Bird to bigger movies like LA LA Land and Moonlight.

It’s not a coincidence that these original movies did well at the awards, but even movies that were never going to be Oscar nominated can perform exceptionally financially (eg. The VVitch) despite not being part of a franchise or remake. I hope that that entertainment industry is brave enough to remember the one-shot movies from the 70s/80s/90s that were allowed to do really well and not get a sequel. There is definitely a place for big franchises, but not every movie should be shoehorned into one. 

 

 

 

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Sartorially Speaking: Summer 2018

Am I the only one who is quite unimpressed with the fashion trends of late? The hottest looks for the summer (according to the style blogs like Refinery29) involve those bucket bags made from netting, plastic shoes, prairie/smocked tops, tiny sunglasses, lockets, and pedal pushers. What the actual fuck. Apparently they all got bored with the good 90s trends and fancied reviving the terrible ones. 

I walk the line between staying trendy and clinging to pieces I adore despite them not being Vogue-approved. In other words, you cannot pry me from my floaty Stevie Nicks witchy wraps but please give me all the well cut jeans. I like knowing what’s trending, and clicking through the shows at Fashion Week (Paris is the best, obvs) is a pleasure so I’m not sure if my displeasure can be chalked up to ‘not getting what’s fashionable’. 

Fashion Fails 2018

I think nostalgic trends only work for you if you liked them the first time around. I was never a fan of bucket bags (they are super awkward and your stuff gets lost inside), plastic shoes (uncomfortable and make feet sweaty), tiny sunglasses (I actually want sunglasses to protect my wuss eyes from the sun), lockets (bulky, sentimental and ugly but acceptable in horror movies if they contain someones soul), and pedal pushers (who the fuck is this even flattering on?). As for the other trends like sculpted heels, gingham, polka dots, and raffia shoes… I’m neutral on them, and will not be rushing to add them to my cart. 

I’m not mad though, it’s really helped me to stick to my ‘don’t buy anything’ resolution and not every trend has to cater to my whims. Since the turnaround on trends seems to be pretty fast, I probably won’t have to wait long until something I fancy comes along. My main fashion dilemma these days has little to do with trends exactly, and is more ‘what the hell am I wearing to work today?’ -based. Is it too dressy or too casual? Am I too old or too young to wear this? Is there a client meeting today? Is the office going to be cold? Am I walking a lot? Ugh, I miss working at home sometimes. 

Style Chameleon: Barbie Barbiturate

Barbie Barbiturate is not here to glamorize drug addiction like its inspiration source of Valley of the Dolls, but rather give a sad and tragic counterpart to the perky pinup look. 

A retro 60s housewife bored with life and tranquilized to hell, but her cat eye makeup is still flawless. She’s the kind of woman who can cry without ruining her makeup, and she does not ‘ugly cry’ but instead looks benignly tragic. 

You do not (and should not) develop a drug habit to emulate this look, but we shouldn’t ignore the missteps of the past by pretending that oppressing and overmedicating women didn’t happen. Doctors are trained to believe we are exaggerating our symptoms and need to be calmed from hysteria, which is tragic enough without you developing a habit. Lana del Rey, someone who embodies this style so well, medicates with weed and that is a much better alternative. 

Barbie

Tease your hair up high (pun intended) and setting spray is integral. Feminine clothes, layered to perfection but probably not quite in keeping with the season. Accessories are a distraction, and you can ignore Coco Chanel and let them overwhelm you. Costume jewelry because you’re acting your way through a sad life – are you a Neely or an Anne? – and don’t forget your signature scent. Something classic like Shamilar, perhaps? Wear sunglasses and a big hat to avoid the sunlight, and lots of silk to drown in. 

It seems too gauche to cite or show inspirations from the long list of women who died from barbiturate overdoses, but I recommend you learn about who they are and what led them down that path. Instead, watch Valley of the Dolls (or read the book because it’s better!) and lust after everything the gorgeous Sharon Tate wears. Watch Lana del Rey music videos, and channel any woman who made the mistake of falling in love with Don Draper on Mad Men because that’s her. 

“Just hair”

I’m not sure where my hair is in that supposed 7-year cycle, but I can only hope the next 7 bring better luck. Did I break a mirror or maybe piss of the Follicle Gods? I am sure most people have a ‘grass is always greener’ relationship with their hair. Wishing it were thicker, longer, darker, lighter, straighter, curlier, whatever, from what they already have. As with many of our other insecurities, it’s very probable that our hair worries are just not noticed by other people (who are also respectively fretting about their hair). Oh, it’s “just hair”! Just a silly thing only women preoccupy themselves with, right?

Maybe it’s more than that tho.

Society tells us that the ideal is that thick, shiny hair that can be pulled into a big messy bun, preferably blonde but immaculate highlights will do. If spending hours of time and money on your hair is something you want to do, then I will support you, but I can’t get on board with a society practically forcing women into treatments, bleaching, relaxing, and the nagging feeling the hair we were born with isn’t good enough. Is this us overly worrying about our ‘do’ or multimillion dollar industry dedicated to controlling the bodies of women?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the changes I want for my hair are decisions made by me or the culture I live in. Do I want thicker hair because I feel my fine hair is inadequate, or because I personally want more volume?
Yes, I would make my hair naturally thicker and longer if I could. I would give a wave to my strands that hang as straight as if I use a straightener. I freely admit to having emotional breakdowns when my hair just refuses to cooperate with what I want to do.

Hair is a self-expression, so it’s pretty important to work out why you want the hair you do. Nobody else should have a say in how you do your hair, and we should be free from the hair-related stereotypes (there are quite a lot when you stop to think about it!) to decide too. There is more toxicity surrounding hair than just sulphates, and we should be less quick to buy into past ideas or blindly follow what we’re told are beauty norms.

We should talk more about how pregnancy, illness or addiction can alter your hair forever but that it’s ok. We should talk more about how touching hair that does not belong to you is not ok – and why it’s not bloody ok. Some people will never be able to achieve that shiny, ‘rich girl’ hair but that it’s ok. It should be a generally accepted rule that “is that your own hair?” is always answered with “yes” because it’s either their own hair or hair they own. Instagram and Pinterest are not always real – there is a lot of Photoshop and wigs out there masquerading as hair that is attainable without such aids. If you have to wash your hair every day, then don’t let the blogs make you feel bad about it. If you only have to wash it once every fortnight, then that’s cool too. Some hair does not belong to you, and you need to respect that. The hair style someone has may not have been chosen by them (due to illness or abuse, for example). It is worth saying again: do not ask to touch or touch without asking unless that person is paying you to touch their hair. 

It’s your hair, and whether you’re male or female shouldn’t matter in what you decide to do with it. How it is styled should not affect how people view or treat you. It’s all very well to say these things, but we need to start individually following through. How many times do you make guesses about a person because of their hair? Maybe more than you think.

I can’t change the world, society at large, or the hair industry, but I can change myself. I can question why I hate my hair, and what influences my opinion to your hair. I can try to challenge stereotypes or assumptions when I see them being made. We all have bad hair days, but maybe we will have less of them when we challenge why we think it’s bad.

 

Our Love Affair With Murder

I don’t think podcasts were on many peoples’ radar until Serial came along. The series from NPR became a hot topic of conversation, and people eagerly awaited new installments. I remember listening to it at the gym, wondering if he was guilty, and how her parents felt having their daughters murder become part of a national obsession.

It definitely seems fitting that the first podcast to explode in popularity focused on murder, as that morbid fascination seems to unite unlikely people around the world. Now, you can choose from many murder-related podcasts that are popular enough to have spawned world-wide tours, such as My Favorite Murder and The Last Podcast On The Left. Television shows that capture the collective attention of the internet tend to be about murders (True Detective), and true crime shows, movies, and books is a powerhouse genre of consumers and creators, professional and amateur alike.

It isn’t a topic for everyone, but those that adore the topic come from such different backgrounds and have diverse other interests, to make it an interesting cross-section of society. There are probably different things that appeal to us, drawing us in, from morbid fascination to empathy, or historical curiosity or sadism.

I can only really speak for myself when I theorize why we are drawn to it as a subject, and I really don’t think it is an interest that should give cause for alarm. I mean, think about how many people would attend public executions! There is an innate draw in some people to seek such things. The main interest for me is finding out the inner workings of the ‘logic’ they use, and how human error is often at fault for why things were not stopped sooner. I think we could all benefit so much from looking at the mistakes made from victim blaming, not believing people, not being careful at crime scenes, and being more guarded against superficial charm.

It’s always disquieting when you can see the point of the killer, like revenge on an abuser, or when a pattern of behavior across many killers emerge, such as early childhood head injuries. However, what is more disquieting is when it is random, or because they believe a higher power is telling them to. Is evil behavior nature or nurture? We should study these things more closely, to help prevent future incidents.

I also enjoy the stories of people who escaped, people who overcame crazy odds to emerge on the other side. Ordinary people can harbor extraordinary stories, or unbeknownst motives, and it’s a perfect reminder to not judge a book by its cover.

Duck & Cover

As children, we’re told to not judge a book by its cover and this is great metaphorical advice. Not leaping to conclusions is always a good rule to stick to. However, how many of us literally judge books by their covers?

The cover of a book tells us so much, from how the publishing house wishes to market the book, to what kind of story we might find inside. I mean, that’s the point of the cover. Whether it’s an illustration, a version of the adapted movie poster, or covered in excerpts of reviews, the cover is there to tell us both what to expect from the story, who the story inside is for, and whether or not it’s in Oprah’s book club.

 

I recently saw a list of similarly comped up book covers (I will add the link when I find it!) and then made these myself based on the tropes that always jumped out to me. Is the difference between a ‘cultural dramatic fiction’ and ‘chick lit’ just having a male or female author, respectively? Who decides when the name of an author is worth outweighing the title of the book? Why have stock images on the cover to give the reader a predetermined visual instead of letting them use their imagination? Nobody likes it when the movie adaptation is used for the cover, right?

I know that in the past I’ve not read a book because I didn’t like the cover, only to really enjoy it when I begrudgingly read it. If the cover were blank, would it be better? Do we enjoy books more or less when we know the general gist or theme? There is no right answer, but I think a good answer is for the publishing houses to find some new ideas when it comes to covers.

 

Golden Roses

rose gold mood

I feel like the popularity of rose gold is waning. Will yellow gold have a comeback? Are we due for a silver domination? I’m rather fond of mixing metals, and I’m still fond of rose gold.

There was a time when rose gold seemed to cover anything and everything. It was to accessories what mason jars were to weddings, which is to say it was everywhere. I like rose gold because it is flattering to everyone, and a more delicate metallic than its cousin bronze.

2018 is the year of ultra violet, which has a natural match with silver. That said, I wouldn’t throw all your rose gold things out too soon.

Fashion in 2017: 10 Trends I Liked + 10 Trends I Did Not Like

It’s that time of year when we reminisce and ponder on what has transpired, for good or for bad. I like to look back on the notable style and fashion trends from the year so I can make some guesses about where things might go. So we can end on a positive note, let’s go the bad stuff out of the way first!

Trends I Did Not Like in 2017

  1. Mules and kitten heels, or the dreaded mule with kitten heels, were definitely a trend I did not like. They are no made for walking, and look so darn silly. I didn’t mind the mules with block heels, but it’s certainly not a shoe style that I love.
  2. White boots (some with kitten heels too!) are a latecomer to the year, only really cropping up in articles now. They are not going to age well, and should have been left in the 80s, with the perms and over use of blush.
  3. Cropped bootcut flares seemed to cover the legs of influencers and the pages of fashion blogs, but I don’t remember actually seeing them in the wild. Could it be because this is not a very flattering style of jeans?
  4. Mom jeans also seemed to creep back as some 90s normcore came back in style, and why don’t we learn from the mistakes of the past?
  5. Collaborations got a bit bananas in 2017, with the Supreme x Louis Vuitton being the most gauche. Hypebeasts need to chill the fuck out in 2018.
  6. Straw purses and bucket bags are pushed upon us every year, and I have no space in my life for Wes Anderson twee picnic purses, or bulky sacks designed to swallow my car keys.
  7. Oh, you think that dress is cute? Haha, gotcha! It has no back and no sides so good luck wearing a bra with it.
  8. I think the issue with the “cold shoulder sweater” is in its name.
  9. Super distressed jeans with fishnets underneath? We’re doing this again? No thanks.
  10. Zips in illogical places, designed to snag and be annoying.

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Trends I Liked In 2017

  1. Sneakers! All the sneakers. So many choices, and because they are ‘fashionable’ they are now more acceptable at work.
  2. For all the shitty styles of jeans, it was nice to see thick, good quality denim become more easily found in stores.
  3. Athleisure is not going anywhere, and I’m cool with that. Being able to find a diverse selection of leggings and hoodies is very useful.
  4. Politics made some brands take a stand, which was great to see. Lots of smaller brands who donated via purchase, and inclusive messaging are the way to go.
  5. I actually like millennial pink. It’s universally flattering. Don’t @ me.
  6. Dainty jewelry made a comeback, which is a welcome change from the bulky ‘statement’ pieces that screamed tacky to me.
  7. Socks got a bit more attention, which was unexpected. From the sheer ankle socks to Stance x Rihanna, I was psyched to see it all.
  8. Faux Fur is not only cruelty free, but delightfully fun to wear. I love standing in the corner and stroking my arm without having to be high. I’m glad this trend has stuck around.
  9. I actually liked the exaggerated sleeve trend, within reason. I liked the bell-shape or flared sleeves, but the big bell batwings can go away.
  10. That whole “silk jammies but worn outside and as clothes” was pretty neat.

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