Previously at the ICA - Events

Image: Taking Stock

Taking Stock: Cinema's Reservoir of Criminal Looks and Gestures

15 May 2008

An afternoon of talks exploring the dark side of style and cinema, from femmes fatales to gangster chic, with some of Europe's most fashionable thinkers.

2pm: The Killing Game: Glamorous Masks and Murderous Styles in Elio Petri's La Decima Vittima

Discover through this talk the glamorous futuristic atelier of illusions created by director Elio Petri in The 10th Victim, a 'style film' with subtle political undertones aimed at satirising consumer society and modern lifestyles. Given by Anna Battista, writer, journalist and lecturer, with thanks to the Fondazione Micol Fontana in Rome.

 

2.45pm: I Want That Mink! Film Noir and Fashion

The femme fatale chases money, but also displays it, embellishing herself with glittering jewellery, luxurious dresses and designer hats. In her talk Petra Dominkova will argue that one garment in particular was singled out in film noir as an ultimate symbol of luxury, and ominous importance: the mink coat. Dominkova is lecturer in Eastern European cinema at Charles University in Prague.

 

3.30pm: Looking Sharp

This talk will consider what it takes to look sharp, building a special case for the turned-up collar. Barry Curtis and Claire Pajaczkowska will show how the cinematic body can be both displayed and shielded through the usage of garment and the play with its shadow, arguing that garments become gestures towards the actions that may, at the same time, mitigate and express menace. Curtis is emeritus professor of visual culture at Middlesex University, and a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art. Claire Pajaczkowska is senior research tutor in the School of Fashion and Textiles at the Royal College of Art.

 

4.30pm: Five Types of Stain

The blood-stained garment is a classic feature of detective fiction, cinema and TV, serving as trace, symbol, clue and narrative device. Kitty Hauser will probe at the semiotics of stained clothing, and consider its role in the construction of cinematic and novelistic narratives of crime and deduction. Hauser has won several prestigious awards for her writing and criticism in art and visual culture.

 

5.15pm: Sopranos' Bada Bing: More than Gangster Bling?

Forget about the iconic Hollywood gangster figure that relies for his on-screen magic on sharply tailored bespoke suits and powerful images of masculinity. Embrace instead The Sopranos, full of anti-fashion and overweight characters. Lorraine Gamman's talk will argue that The Sopranos' characters have little image connection with gangster films, and more in common with the moral dilemmas found in Shakespearian plays. Dr Gamman is professor in design studies at Central Saint Martins and director of the Design Against Crime Research Centre.

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