FILM ROLL: CAFE SOCIETY


Another Woody Allen film and another conflict of interest for my love of fashion in film and disdain for the man who married his adopted child. Once again, the plot a tad lackluster but the glamorous shots of Los Angeles in the 1930's and reference to the dazzling old school Café Society just marvelous. Starting right off the bat with this pristine pool at dusk in the opening scene, veering slightly into Slim Aarons territory. What I wouldn't do for an invite! Enjoy. 


I'm not sure if living in Los Angeles makes me more appreciative of the incredible beach shots, most likely filmed at my favorite El Matador in Malibu, but one thing I can never got over is just how spectacular any and every inch of beach continues to be! I love everything about this shot of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart canoodling with a straw beach bag. Beach picnic envy for sure! 


And of course the film gets some great shots at swanky Mediterranean villa mansion in Beverly Hills.  I love the cypress trees and beige color scheme of everyone's attire for Brunch. It might be hard to spot but Parker Posey (female, above) has the most wonderful silk blouse on with a giant tassel in the center that I am dying to get my hands on. Isn't it amazing how much fashion trends repeat themselves? I'm assuming costume designer, Suzy Benzinger, must have created it specifically for this film! 


This is perhaps one of my favorite shots in the entire film when Kristen's character comes to pick up Jesse Eisenberg for a tour of Los Angeles. The color palette cinema photographer Vittorio Storaro uses in the shots of old hollywood are so alluring and perfectly depict the relaxed vibe Los Angeles culture is so heavily attributed as. It's consistent with the costume color palate and does a great job of setting the tone for some frivolous, romantic escapades. 


Once again, not too far off from replicating a Slim Aarons photograph. It's a classic Los Angeles paradox to host upscale social events by the pool where nobody intends to dive in but the allure of the setting allows one misnomer the opportunity to break the insincere notion of formality and poise. Isn't that Los Angeles though in a nutshell? Always trying so hard to be taken seriously, yet in a perfect position to be pushed into the pool. 


And so then we go to New York, where the title of the film actually makes sense? I think the film couldn't decide between which city's past to glamorize. Fortunately for me, I happen to think they did a good job in both. I actually came to find some relevance in the switch back, where Jesse Eisenberg's character goes to Los Angeles to find adventure and in the midst, himself. Yet he ends up back in his hometown of New York City, but with an enlightened (and albeit bedazzled) sense of self, right back home. And perhaps he even finds himself more evolved as a result. 


They did a wonderful job of creating a great set for the club in New York City. From the champagne saucers to the broaches on Blake Lively's dress straps, all the details mattered and came together wonderfully. I must say it was quite pretty to see a little bit of Gatsby glamour in the midst of the overanalyzed comedy so much of Allen's banter is usually centered around. It's also a great selling point for a new bar/lounge idea in Los Angeles, the closest place I can think of is my favorite bar at Hotel Bel Air. It's even decorated with a similar color scheme and has live music at night. If only people dressed in long gloves, suits and silk gowns too!


Hence the Gatsby reference... Despite my slight disappointment in some of the plot I think the film does touch on some aspects about culture and the end of life. I think what the film does do well is incorporate some aspects of how family ties continue through young adulthood and can often help and hinder growth amongst its members, both young and old. What was simple (and somewhat unexpected) was the chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. 


And what a party is was, hope you enjoyed the lovely film stills whether you make it to the theater (or maybe just Netflix, sorry, not sorry).

Xx, 

-M
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1 comment

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