Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cinema Style File--James Dean and the Iconic Griffith Park Observatory

Every month Turner Classic Movies picks a different Star of the Month, and June features the filmography of the talented Natalie Wood.  As you might have already guessed, one of the movies appearing in the lineup is Rebel Without a Cause.  Let me tell you, it was a great experience to watch it again and I encourage you to see it.  Though the movie is packed with two hours of 1950s angst, that angst is told through the visual eye of Nicholas Ray.  Visually the movie is perfect photograph after perfect photograph.  The composition.  The cinematography...just saturated with color.  Costumes add even more punches of color, and in their perfect 1950s silhouettes, too--tight sweaters as tops, cardigan sweaters draped around the shoulders, pencil skirts and flats, and those full swinging skirts with nipped in waists.  However, I would have to say that the most impact probably comes from James Dean and his wardrobe.  You simply can't think about Rebel Without a Cause without him in the t-shirt, jeans, and iconic red jacket.

Adding to the visual splendor, of course, are the Los Angeles locations.  This includes one that has become an icon for the city--the Griffith Park Observatory.  You can see some of it during the knife scene after the class has gone to the planetarium:

Because I'm such a fan of classic cinema, I'm sure you can guess how excited I am to go to locations like the Observatory.  Seriously, it's one of the great things about living in Los Angeles.  And I was actually lucky enough to do one of my photos shoots up at the Griffith Park Observatory!  I can't tell you how in awe of that place I was.  The building has been restored so well, the grounds are beautifully maintained, and that view is spectacular.  It's also within sight of the Hollywood sign, yet another Los Angeles landmark.  It was a bright and beautiful (and windy!) day when I was up there with Angela Torres shooting for her upcoming book, The Vintage Dress.  I love her ability with light and color, so it was perfect to shoot at the Observatory considering the importance of both in Rebel Without a Cause.

I love Los Angeles!

1950s chartreuse floral cotton swing dress, 1960s black leather frame bag,
J. Crew black patent leather belt, Nine West black leather peeptoe slingbacks,
1950s onyx and silver bangle bracelet, silver hoop earrings

1950s ivory silk shantung double-skirted dress, 1950s black leather box purse,
jet and gold dangle earrings, slim gold bangle bracelet, Nine West black leather peeptoe slingbacks

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