7 Films With The Most Dreamy Colour Palettes

We all love a bit of eye candy – and by that I don’t just mean the buff, bearded barista from your local coffee shop who’s basically Jamie Dornan and Kurt Cobain’s love child. I mean other things which make your eyes go ‘oooo’, like that epic eye rub after your 9-5. Besides our crushes, nothing’s more like music to the eyes than pretty pastels and dreamy hues; in more Pinterest-perfect shades than MAC’s entire counter. So without further ado: here are seven films with the most gorgeous colour palettes – full of fashion and beauty inspo, guaranteed to make you swoon…

1) Jawbreaker

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Life before Mean Girls, The Plastics and ‘fetch’ meant one thing: Jawbreaker – the 90s most deadpan teen comedy. (Where Rose McGowan was bossing resting bitch face, before Regina George even knew it was a thing…) In this cult classic, three of the most popular girls from High School end up killing the fourth member of their ‘Flawless Four’ clique, when a kidnapping prank goes horribly wrong and she ends up choking to death on a jawbreaker – bible. But that’s not the only thing to die for: so are all the film’s sassy, citrus coloured two pieces, bubble-gum tinted eye shadow and deliberately clashing prints. Trust us, Jawbreakers’ 90s nostalgia will give you all the feels.

2) The Love Witch

The Love Witch

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch is a sinfully stylish, candy-coloured horror-meets- comedy. Elaine is a witch on one mission: to find a man who loves her. With a mixture of seduction and spells, Elaine lures her suitors in – at a fatal price. But Elaine doesn’t give a toss – as long as she’s taken from men exactly what she needs. This tongue-in- cheek, feminist flick isn’t just a fab exploration of female sexuality and gender roles, but its 10/10 colour-coordination, tea rooms’ drenched in head-to- toe millennial pink and Valley Of The Dolls vibes are totally spellbinding.

3) Marie Antoinette

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This Sofia Coppola film will make you sign: blushing pinks, punchy peaches and sky blues – who said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it? Marie Antoinette stars Kirstin Dunst as the infamous French Queen who was Louis XVI’s wife – following her lavish days at the Palace of Versailles, which eventually caused some heads to roll…This isn’t just one of the prettiest period dramas ever with all the frills, but the film’s rose cupcakes are stunning enough to shed a tear.

4) The Royal Tenenbaums

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Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is the epitome of indie cinema and 70s fashion. None more so than Margot Tenenbaum (yes, we’re looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow) – all panda eyes, poker-straight hair, hair clips, striped polos and f*** off fabulous fur. This film’s coffee, beige and caramel colour palette will leave you thirsty for seventies style for days. Throw into the mix a film about dysfunctional families, child geniuses, quirky characters, screw-ups, betrayal and an unexpected reunion – who could say no?

5) Romeo & Juliet

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Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet isn’t just a classic which gets us blubbing every time. Its oversaturated colour, the Montagu’s Hawaiian skirts and Leo’s floppy haircut didn’t just smell like teen rebellion at the time but were sexy AF – and still are now. This remake’s loud colours and bold attitudes made it a timeless hit. (The image of Leo crying into a yellow sunset will forever remain ingrained into my heart.)

6) Amelie

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This film’s red and green palette feels like a nice, warm hug. French rom com Amélie is all about a shy Parisian waitress, who lives in her own bubble. Amélie tries to find her own way in the world, while looking out for others, and just happens to fall in love along the way – it’s really quite gorgeous stuff.

7) The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel looks like something in-between pink paradise and a pretty extra Mr Kipling French Fancy cake – where wild adventures and unlikely friendships begin to take place. Never have colours given a film a dreamier feel and brought a fantasy world more to life.

 

15 Years On From Frida: Revisiting Salma Hayek’s Biopic In The #MeToo Era

Today marks the 15-year anniversary since Frida, Miramax’s 2002 biopic starring Salma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, first premiered in UK cinemas.

Unfortunately, what should come as celebratory news feels bittersweet.

Frida used to be a film I only had the fondest memories of, as I’m sure many others did. The biopic, directed by Julie Taymor, brought to life the complex and charismatic Mexican artist I so deeply admired. The progressive painter whose work destigmatised women’s bodies, liberated female sexuality and taught others how to draw strength from vulnerability.

Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes praised Kahlo’s self-portraits for revealing ‘the successive identities of being still in the process of becoming’ – equally, I found Salma Hayek’s performance in Frida embodied Kahlo’s strong, yet malleable self. While the film’s portrayal of Frida and her husband Diego Riveria’s (played by Alfred Molina) toxic and all-consuming relationship is compelling viewing – in the film’s second half producing raw and visceral performances from both – it was Hayek who ultimately breathed life into my childhood idol.

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But the following seems more problematic now than it did 15 years ago; in light of Hayek’s harrowing account of the sexual harassment and abuse Harvey Weinstein – Miramax Film’s ex-head honcho – subjected her to throughout the film’s production. In one instance, Hayek alleges Weinstein threatened to axe Frida because he didn’t believe the biopic was ‘sexy enough’ and blackmailed Hayek into performing a full-frontal nude, lesbian sex scene with her fellow actor Ashley Judd.

Frida was undoubtedly a career-defining role for Hayek, earning her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, in addition to the film amassing five further nominations, and walking away with two Oscars on the big day. Hayek described the biopic, which she co-produced, as a passion project to The New Yorker:

One of the forces that gave me the determination to pursue my career was the story of Frida Kahlo, who in the golden age of the Mexican muralists would do small intimate paintings that everybody looked down on. She had the courage to express herself while disregarding skepticism. My greatest ambition was to tell her story. It became my mission to portray the life of this extraordinary artist and to show my native Mexico in a way that combated stereotypes.’ Hayek goes on to recount how: ‘The Weinstein empire, which was then Miramax, had become synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking — a haven for artists who were complex and defiant. It was everything that Frida was to me and everything I aspired to be.’

In the end she succeeded, but this feeling would soon be outweighed by the price she had to pay, being the subject of Weinstein’s repugnant demands. These included letting Weinstein watch her shower, perform oral sex on her, and letting his naked friend give her a massage.

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After learning it was Frida’s 15 year anniversary today, I wanted to rewatch my favourite film for old time’s sake. But I felt uneasy doing so in the post Weinstein era; privy to Hayek’s disturbing account of what happened behind the cameras. Surely this would taint the film irrevocably? With this mind, I wondered to what extent we can truly separate the art from the artist.

As I rewatched Frida,  one half of me was emotionally invested in the film, while the other half was invested in my external knowledge of it. With the latter constantly weaving in and out of my consciousness, I appreciated the film considerably less than I had previously. While I believe any good film remains a good one in its own right, once armed with certain background knowledge, it becomes impossible for emotional responses to not infiltrate our thoughts. The knowledge viewer’s enjoyment had come at its female cast member’s expense, proved all too fresh to absolve the artist from his crimes.

One part which made unsettling viewing was rewatching the nude, lesbian sex scene which Hayek claims Weinstein blackmailed her into doing. Seeing Hayek and Ashley Judd playfully rolling around in each other’s embrace, makes Salma’s accounts of the ordeal all the more horrifying:

I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears…It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then…I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.’

The suffering, pain, mental and physical abuse Hayek had to endure, mirrors these forces which Frida had to contend with in her life. But just like Frida’s fierce determination to not let life’s adversities crush her down, Hayek’s story becomes a tale of perseverance; a woman against all odds finishing a film – under Weinstein’s near-impossible demands, including Hayek raising $10 million for the film and rewriting the script for no additional payment – because Weinstein was dissatisfied with the film’s sexual appeal.

Although there are no winners in situations like these, Hayek emerges victorious by speaking out against her oppressor and hopefully encouraging more victims in the #MeToo movement to find their own voices. One aspect which certainly troubled me the most, is how many other sex or intimacy scenes have we watched where victims have suffered in silence at the hands of their oppressor? If there’s one thing I’ve realised, it’s in the era of #MeToo we can’t look at things with the same set of eyes we once did before. This, at least, plants some seeds of hope.