Monday, 10 November 2008

Criminal style

Now I'm being a bit naughty and duplicating my Fashion and Film post on Make Do Style not because I'm particularly lazy but it was worth sharing.

The film set in Italy made me fast forward to S/S 09 hence my previous bag post. So here is the edited version (you only miss my preamble of what I normally do on a Saturday, so you are saved the vanity of all about me!) On Saturday, I drove over a 100 miles to Warwick Arts Centre to attend a screening of Plein Soleil (1960) a French film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. Highsmith commented that Plein Soleil was "very beautiful to the eye and interesting for the intellect", although she took issue with the ending.
Adapted and directed by René Clément, Tom Ripley is played by Alain Delon. The screening of this film was in the context of a talk by Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson on fashion and film criminals entitled 'If Looks could Kill'.

Alain Delon is pure evil in the film but equally he is pure male beauty. It is a stark contrast to Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) as Tom Ripley is extremely cold and also the most beautiful person on screen, compared to Minghella's where Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Dickie (Jude Law) are the eye candy.

The talk focused on the typical cinema criminal most notably the gangster and their appropriation of the suit, how a gangster is obvious with their flamboyant use of dress and the vanity associated with dress. The gangster always admires himself in the mirror and will always see his tailor upon release from jail before his 'gal'. The narcissistic quality of dress is integral to Plein Soleil and Alain Delon's portrayal of Tom Ripley, being a French film you can imaging the quality of the style right down to the very Italian Riviera white leather Gucci loafers which are so soft and delectable you can almost feel their quality from the screen. The cinematography and colour is outstanding in this film

Highsmith was disappointed with the film's ending, calling it "a terrible concession to so-called public morality." However Clement had constructed such a cold, evil, narcissistic and beautiful Ripley in Plein Soleil it seemed the creator needed to reign him in.


  1. Hi there-that sounds a great outing you had! I love The Talented Mr Ripley, Plein Soleil sounds brilliant, particularly the scenery and Mr Delon looks gorgeous too!

  2. Hi Sharon Rose - yes he was which is why this is a gratuitous post - making do with just looking!

  3. HEAVEN, I didn't realize (to be honest I've never thought about it) that it the modern film was a remake...I've never told anyone but every time I go to the barber he claims I look like Alain Delon - whatever!

    Plus I didn't know you had another blog...linking and putting it into my reader!

  4. I remember seeing the French version and moaning through most of it...Alain Delon was just exquisite, wasn't he?!?!?

  5. I might be brave and try the French version. I found the original very hard to watch---not because it was a bad movie. But, more that that kind of sociopathic narcissism is difficult to endure.

  6. Oh Alain Delon, I remember him.
    But I didn't know about this movie.
    Thanks for sharing.


  7. That's a helluva recommendation ... will have to put this on the video store list! It took me ages to see the 1999 Ripley, but that film gave me chills. I'd be super curious to see a different, older take on the story. Especially one starring such renowned hunkiness.

  8. I never understood what Minghella was doing with the casting in the Talented Mr Ripley - clearly Jude Law should have been Ripley. Maybe he was trying to set his film apart from Plein Soleil though?

  9. I haven't seen "P.S." so will have to go check it out. Forgive me if this comment is repetitive of the one on the other blog.

  10. I agree with Skye, maybe Jude Law should have been Ripley - pre hairloss. (the little vulva patch on Jude's head is a little distracting these days, wish he would go ahead and get a number 1 clip)
    Boo and I constantly re-watch "AI" where Jude plays an elegant robot gigolo, perfectly cast.


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