Hollywood …

 … she said she wouldn’t but she really would (to the tune of Hooray for Hollywood by Richard A. Whiting)- Anonymous comedic lyric satirist.


courtesy telegraph.co.uk

For as long as I can remember, when the subject of Hollywood came up, I’ve been singing this little ditty.  I have no idea where it came from.  I Googled it and came up with nothing.  I’d take credit for it (in which case I’d remove the anonymous and add brilliant to the attribution, above) but it goes back a long way, so it might have been my Dad’s.  It certainly fits within the framework of his sense of humor, most of which he passed on to me.  Whoever wrote it, it matches my attitudes about Hollywood.  I like movies, even love certain ones of them enough to watch over and over again as I blog … and I certainly admire the work of certain actors. Directors.  Cinematographers.  Etc.   But if you’ve been coming around here, you know I’d rather stick a pencil in my ear than listen to a celebrity talk about the craft.  Or watch a (self) love fest like the Academy Awards.  So when Muri and I set out yesterday to see the Hollywood Costume exhibit at the Phoenix Museum of Art, my expectations were modest.

But before I tell you about it, let me rant a bit (OK, you don’t have a choice … I’m going to rant a little bit). When I went looking for Things to Do in Phoenix online, I found VisitPhooenix.com which led me to Hollywood Costume.  VisitPhoenix conveniently offers a Category … like Performance, Arts and Culture or Festivals … for each event.  Hollywood Costume was tagged with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender).  Seriously?  I’ve been around theater a lot and I know that many of the LGBT persuasion enjoy theater from both sides of the stage.  As do many seniors.  Why tag an event with what is essentially a sexual preference?  And: isn’t stereotyping supposed to be a bad thing?  Rant over.

So, Hollywood Costume is an exhibit originally curated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum,  It includes over 100 iconic costumes from Hollywood films dating from as far back as 1936.  It includes Dorothy’s blue and white gingham (and red sequined shoes) from The Wizard of Oz, Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch, as well as modern classics like Christian Bale’s Batman costume and the suit worn by Christopher Reeves in Superman – The Movie.  What makes the show worthwhile, though, even to a celebrity-phobe like Older Eyes, is the focus on how costumes are developed to fit the mood and intent of the director and how the actors are influenced by the costumes that designers create for them.  This information is offered in the form of posters, multimedia presentations and videos of actors and directors.  Yes, they were talking about their craft and I listened.  Very nicely done.  I found the freehand sketches of the costumes by the designers particularly beautiful.   One display was devoted to the elaborate costumes for various portrayals of Queen Victoria.  Another featured contumes worn by Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro, narated by the actors themselves via life sized videos.  My favorite?   I think it was Harrison Ford’s costume from Indiana Jones.

I’m sure this exhibit will be making its way around the country.  If you are a movie buff, be sure to see it.  Yes, even if the celebrities themselves often drive you crazy.

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