Monday, February 22, 2010

Thrill of the Frills: A Weekend of Epic

Though today is usually the day for the monday movie review (and don't worry, it's coming!), I thought I'd share with you all what might be the most epic Lolita weekend to happen in the history of New York. Though when Baby came for New York Anime Fest was a milestone, this drama free time was absolutely amazing. Getting to experience events with brands and idols that one might in Japan or in Europe was a taste I am currently craving more of. I know how hard it is to bring brands over to the East Coast, but I really wish it could happen more.

Even if lolita fashion is underground in New York and the USA, this weekend made it feel like an up and coming star. It seemed like the world of New York finally seemed to except my strange little hobby, even if it was only for a weekend or less.

The highlight though was getting to meet Misako Aoki. She is, in a word, perfection when it comes to lolita for me. Though I am in love with all things Angelic Pretty (and slightly tacky...), Misako embraces the lolita spirit with grace, class, and a douce of kawaii, that I've yet to have seen otherwise. She seems to truly take in this culture and make it shine more then prior. I truly understand why she was chosen as the ambassador of kawaii, she is it in it's purest form.

But I can't explain how magical it was to be with all of the New York Lolitas, outside of a convention, and taking over the city (and causing some epic traffic problems as well --- apologies to the taxi drivers) It basically gave me goose bumps and a shiver of excitement. Hopefully more events will happen like this in the future, and the spreading of Lolita culture in New York can continue.

So in celebration, here is a collection of links to pictures (taken by the lovely Petrina) and videos (one by Victoria of Lolita Charm, and one by yours truly).

Not related to this post, but I wanted to mention that La Vida Frills has a tumblr (and new icon to match) which you can check out here. Keep looking at it for cute updates to brighten up your day !!
Also look out for another epic lolita movie review by the end of the day.

Picture by Petrina/littlest asian

Monday, February 15, 2010

Movie Review #6 + #7: "Dorian Gray" (1945) and "Mary Reilly" (1997)

When thinking of the combinations of romance and horror, sometimes it just all together seems a bit of an oxymoron to even imagine them side by side. But actually, if you look at the struggles within each of these genres, you can see why there are so many of these kinds of stories. I think within relationships, there is definitely a realm of fear to think about. Will he like me, find me beautiful, care about me in the future? These are all questions that can not be answered all at once, which in turn creates a fear and or horror within ones self. I think this is also a fear that we deal with in our own relationships with the fashion of Lolita itself. Will people accept me? Will I be called an ita? Will I can crowned the village weirdo? Again, these are require an emotional jump before the answer is given.
But what does this at all have to do with our movies this week? I believe that both films, in addition to sharing the romantic horror title, are also about people that can not seem to accept their current state. Wether it be their own emotional being or the fear of changing their appearance, this is a common thought and fright that I think all lolitas can connect on.... and with that I bring you the reviews.

First up, "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" (1945) starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, and a very young Angela Lansbury. Now, I know many of you were probably looking forward to a review of the recent Ben Barnes version. Yes, I think he is ridiculously good looking, but based on substance, this is the version to watch of the famous story. It stars who I think is the most interesting Gray (not hot, just interesting) to be put on the film (Hatfield). His eyes are very striking and work for the character very well. If you don't know the story at all, all you need to know is the following: A picture is painted of Dorian, and it is cursed. Until the day he looks upon the portrait, Dorian will remain young and beautiful forever. Not to give the story away, but who shines in this movie is definitely Lansbury. Though only about 19 or 20, you would never question her abilities to carry her role well. She sings beautifully in this movie, along with having a very convincing character. Just for that alone, I highly recommend it. I give it 4 headbows out of 5.

Next up is "Mary Reilly" (1997) starring Julia Roberts and a favorite of mine, John Malkovich. COOL FACT ALERT: The guy that directed this movie (Stephan Frears) also directed one of my favorite movies, Dangerous Liasons. This movie is a twist on the classic tale of Dr.Jeykll and Mr.Hyde (probably in my top 5 favorite books of all time, I know I'm a bit old when it comes to my taste)but in this version, the story is told from the perspective of Mary, Dr. Jeykll's maid. As the tale continues, you find out about Mary's abusive past and see her love for Jeykll blossom. But at the same time, its obvious that she begins to feel for Hyde as well. The relationship is definitely romantic but dangerous, which is what makes these romantic horror films so interesting. They aren't just like the usual romantic film, they have an element of risk. This film is also a risk. It could have lost all gore and fear right away, going only romance, but it's very brutal. I don't recommend it for the tame of frill (or thrill?), the blood is pretty intense at times. The old English settings really is what gets me. This is the perfect film for fans of Atelier Pierrot and other slightly gothic brands, just take a look at this clip here for proof. The vote? Miss Reilly gets a nice bloody rating of 3 headbows out of 5. The romance is great, but the blood doesn't let me give it a better grade, since not everyone can handle it.

Final words? For some great gothic visuals and interesting inspiration, check these two out. Though they may not be for the faint of heart, neither is lolita, and with that I give them a high recommendation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I apologize to the extreme for not updating on time this week, but expect next Monday to have a double whammy of two movie reviews, and also a special collab post with Lolita Charm. For the moment though, to make up for my bad blogger behavior, I made a video for you to enjoy. The link is here. Can't wait to start writing the reviews -- here is the trailer for the other movie that'll pop up next week, enjoy !!

(photo from flickr)
See ya next week my fellow frillies !!