*Note: I was honoured to receive a comment (below) from the film’s designer herself, Linde Aseltine! Due entirely to my personal tendency to be self-deprecating (since sometimes I find myself almost apologizing for my obsession with costume, rather than celebrating it as I ought to do!), I had originally not given the costumes in this film their full due, nor been completely accurate in my descriptions. I have since updated my blog, and would also like to add in this fabulous tidbit of information from Linde: “the entire film’s wardrobe was purchased from thrift stores and Ross for $300 total. And I did it in a week!”
That elicits an unabashed “Brava!!” from me! Many thanks again for the comment, & the extra info! 🙂 *
The costumes in Obselidia (2010), a little gem of a Sundance indie film, may be less conspicuous than the movie’s profound overarching themes; however, like the film itself, they are subtly beautiful. I don’t want to tarnish your viewing experience by telling you too much in advance about this somewhat obscure piece of cinematic art, but I will start by saying this: if you haven’t seen Obselidia (and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you haven’t, since I had never even heard the name before happening across it at the library), please do yourself a favour and find a copy to watch!
The film is a poetic, or sometimes elegiac, meditation on the ephemeral nature of things, especially in the growing shadow of environmental degradation – and yet it’s not dispiriting; rather, it’s life-affirming. The way it’s filmed recalls certain aspects of Italian neo-realism or Dogma 95, with slow pacing, long shots, realistic dialogue, and relatively unknown actors. (And there’s a quirky little Amelie-style soundtrack thrown in for good measure!)
The main character, George, is a quietly eccentric young man who is compiling an encyclopaedia of obsolete things. His own lifestyle and abode are consequently filled with the detritus jettisoned by a civilization in haste to move onward to the latest and greatest gadgetry: George uses an old-fashioned typewriter, posts his letters, rides a vintage bike, and drinks Earl Grey tea (no doubt brewed from loose tea leaves, although it’s never specified!).
He also wears ’30s- or ’40s-esque banded-collar shirts, vests, and fedoras. As a good friend of mine once said to me of Amelie, when recommending I see the eponymous film, this character is “a jewel”….
(although the above image is tiny, I had to include one photo with the pogo stick!)
~ costume design: Linde Aseltine ~
P.S. Actor Michael Piccirilli seems to dress similarly, at least for the promo shots!