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Many people love to watch costume movies because they represent real magic that is hardly created in any other form of art. When you watch costume drama movies you get to relive an era that was long gone before you were born or to travel to a magical world that you haven’t seen before. Understanding the historical events through the relationships of different characters and not through the listing of dull historical events and information makes a big difference to how people view these events in our modern times. Many of these movies played a role in shedding light or changing views on some of the most important cultural, social, political and religious events that changed the face of our worlds. Costume movies are also very popular in the Sci-Fi genre or in the fiction genre where the motion pictures and the accessories are used to express the future and not the past. The use of the right costumes and accessories can make the audience experience an era that yet remains to be a mystery. Without the right costumes and accessories, the actors will not be able to recreate and experience the events, stay in character or even make the audience relive and believe their stories and this is one of the main reasons that costumes become very important whether the movies are telling real life or imaginary events that are related to our world or another. The costumes help to make the cinema experience more complete and more complex. They play a key role in setting the atmosphere for the motion picture and the characters involved.
How did the genre start?
The costume motion pictures genre started as early as the silent movies with many artists trying to capture Biblical stories or other interesting eras on camera. Most of these projects employed a lot of accessories that would successfully represent a past era. One of the earliest projects is a “Tale of two cities”, a British silent movie produced in 1911 and is based on the novel written by Charles Dickens but doesn’t follow it as accurately. The film uses the costumes to show the difference between the rich and the poor before the time of the French revolution. Another project is “Cabiria”, an Italian epic silent movie that was produced in 1914 and is set in ancient Italy. Interestingly enough the movie that is considered to be one of the earliest costume drama films can still be found online for interested viewers to watch. It tells the story of a lot of events that are related to an abducted girl called Cabiria in addition to the eruption of Mt Etna, the religious rituals of the era and the defeat of the Roman fleet. It was released right after the Italian Turkish war and featured a lot of controversy. As the cinema industry evolved and developed, the focus on the costumes became more evident as a key factor in the story telling. The costumes were used to show the feelings, the time and the place of the events and helped to create the perfect setting for the motion picture. “Moulin Rouge” that was produced in 1952, is a British drama that was set in the 19th century in Paris and follows the quest of a young artist and the love story he has with one of the dancers. The costumes in the motion picture were so lively and amazing that the motion picture won the best costume design Academy Award of the year.
How did the genre evolve?
Later on, costumes were widely used not just to refer to the past and historical eras but to represent different events set in the future through imaginary and science fiction genre. In 1995 “Twelve Monkeys” used costumes to talk about a fictional future where a virus wipes out humanity and the main character is forced to travel to the past and to the future to find a cure. In epic pictures like “Star Wars” the costume design played a key factor in the progression of the storyline where different costumes were used to represent different aliens who played main roles in the series. Movies like “Interview with the Vampire” uses the costumes to express the timeline of the story as the main character turns into a vampire upon being bitten by one. The choice of colors is evident as the soul Brad Bitt, the human like vampire, dies making this one of the best costume films. In movies like “La La Land”, the costumes help to tell the story of the characters as we follow the lives of two aspiring artists, using the costumes that refer to the golden era in Hollywood. Many of the costumes used in the movie would easily be attributed to other epic motion pictures that would be a key factor in the motion picture’s storyline. As the years went by, costumes were not just used to express an era or a historical period but widely used by the cinema industry to express feelings, shifts and struggles in the story. In many cases the play a significant role by telling us information about the character played. This encouraged more artists to pay special attention to this line of art and pursue a career in designing costumes of motion pictures across the globe.
How did the genre evolve in other countries?
In other countries like Italy and France, there was an interest in period and history projects ever since the introduction of the cinema industry. One of the most famous Italian motion pictures is “The Pharaoh’s Woman”, which is set in the 31st century BC right after the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. The film uses the magical era to display a love story between two young Egyptians while displaying the struggle of power between a prince from a former ruling dynasty and the new rulers of Egypt. The costumes of this movie were so rich and interesting to the western cinema audience that in 1960 it won the Academy Award for best costumes. Films like this also created interest in ancient civilizations like the Egyptian civilization that was later depicted in several projects. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is an international production that showed a magical struggle between epic fighters and the love story that occurs during the struggle.
If you are an aspiring cinema lover, you will be able to find a lot of free online war movies like “Pearl Harbor” that talks about World War 2 and how the Americans were attacked in Pearl Harbor as the story line follows the love story between a nurse and an officer. You can also find a lot of good sports movies to watch like “Jerry Maguire” who follows the struggles of a sports agent as he falls in love with a single mom. You can definitely search the internet to find psychological movies to watch like the “The Butterfly Effect” that tells the story of a young man who finds out that he has the ability to change the past. The movie talks about the different scenarios and possibilities and is very interesting to watch. Movie lovers will find a lot of motion pictures to choose from by looking online.
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