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Costume in Cinema - Master Class with Stella Bruzzi

Start date:
Apr 22, 2016 14:30 PM
Ability Level:

At the start of the definitive modern gangster film ‘Goodfellas’, an adult Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) famously reminds himself, ‘As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. For me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States’. But how does Martin Scorsese, the film’s director, evoke the allure of the 1950s New York gangster? Why, through a classic pan up from a pair highly polished shoes to a colourful bespoke suit, before picking out a chunky hand adorned with a gold ring and bracelet. Costume is a classic tool for drawing character and narrative, of mapping the intricacies of class, context or identity. In this master class, Stella Bruzzi discusses the distinctive and important role played by costume in the movies using copious illustrative clips from a wide range of films. Picking examples from Hollywood genres such as melodrama, romantic comedy and science fiction, alongside European art cinema, costume drama and contemporary releases, she analyses some of the distinctive ways in which costume and fashion have been used to construct meaning in cinema.

About the speaker

Stella Bruzzi is Professor of Film and Television Studies at Warwick University and a Fellow of the British Academy. One of the foremost international scholars on costume and fashion in film, in 1997 she published ‘Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies’, still among the most cited academic books in the field, later co-editing ‘Fashion Cultures’ and ‘Fashion Cultures Revisited’ (2000 and 2013). Her other books are ‘New Documentary’ (2000 & 2006), ‘Bringing Up Daddy: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Postwar Hollywood’ (2005) and ‘Men’s Cinema: Masculinity in Post-war Hollywood’ (2013).

Date: 22 April, 2016
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium

Free: first-come, first-served