Tuesday, March 06, 2007

2005, a Year of Gorgeous Costumes.

My favourite costumes of the year were undoubtably in Pride and Prejudice. Here are some of my favourites:









Next is probably Walk the Line, for Reese's gorgeously stylish dresses, chiefly.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

yep agreed. P&P should have won best costumes

Luke said...

Keira Knightley needs to die. She's my second most despised film star, after The Ho.

RC said...

i totally agree those were great costumes!

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

craig said...

Yay for Keira pics!

Anonymous said...

Response Phase – The Aberfan Disaster
On Friday 21st October 1966, tragedy struck in Wales. At 9.15 am a waste tip slid down a mountainside into the village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil. At Pantglas Junior School, the children had just returned from assembly after singing All Things Bright and Beautiful. As the coal tip came sliding down above the school, many adults and children were killed.
It was the largest man-made disaster ever, killing 116 young pupils and 144 people in total. In 6 lessons of Drama, we deconstructed every aspect of this event, from the cause, the disaster, and the aftermath.
We used a range of explorative techniques:

Still Image
We were given stimuli of information about our character. I was Paul Morgan, a bright, cheerful boy who was very considerate of others. I had decided that Paul was the sort of child who treated all humans wonderfully and genuinely tried to make the world a better place. In his first image, he had his hands clasped together, and he was staring at the audience with a big grin – he was a kid full of potential.
Paul’s father was a doctor, and this was where he inherited his sense of caring. Another one of the reasons for this was that he had two sisters, whom he often looked after, and this was shown in another still image where I was taking my two sisters to school – he was holding their hands tightly so as they wouldn’t run into the road.
We used still image when introducing our scenes, and here it would be where everyone took the most notice of our postures and facial expressions – for Paul I stood with my feet pointing inwards to show his juvenile edge.
Another piece of stimuli we had was an extract from the play “Trojan Women.” This linked to the tragedy of Aberfan as they both had similar themes such as loss of life, bereavement, and the deaths of the children being looked upon as murder. At the beginning of Trojan Women, we were in a tableau with our heads pointing in different directions. Each person wore a different look on their face – anger, grief, sadness, desperation, and confusion. By giving each person an emotion to represent, I was able to understand the text better, and see how a tragedy could have so many different impacts on a person.
Our last piece of drama was a still image, one that symbolised hope for Aberfan. We called ours “Just like Old times,” and it showed two parents watching lovingly on their children. Our facial expressions were naturalistic, because it was important to portray our moving on as a gradual progress. The tragedy of Aberfan would never be forgotten, but what the people knew they couldn’t change, they knew they had to stand.

Spoken thought
We often had to say what our characters were thinking, in the voice of the characters. In my first piece of spoken thought, I was as Paul, and he said “I can’t wait! I can’t wait to invite all my friends to my house tomorrow!” This was sad because the next day would have been half-term, and Paul, as well as the other children, would have had dramatic irony in showing that they had their lives ahead of them. I said this line at a hurried speed and high pitch to portray his enthusiasm.
I also gave spoken thought when I played a grieving mother at a coal-board meeting. My line was “I want to kill him… I want to kill him…” because this was how I believed some mothers would feel – murderous. My voice was shaking when I said this, and I was shaking in a trance-like state.
By having spoken thought, I was able to see the devastating effect that the disaster had on people.

Cross Cutting
In a whole class improvisation, we did cross cutting from different characters. It was set in a coal board meeting, and everyone there wanted his or her say on the events. I had to perform twice – once before the coalmen entered, and once afterwards. The changes that my character, a mournful mother went through was very different. She was the sort of woman who didn’t make a huge display of her emotions, so I had to show her despair through subtle ways. When she sat, waiting, she was wringing her hands nervously, muttering comforts to herself. However, as the men entered the room, she was overcome with hatred and began yelling and went to attack one of the men. Her voice had a lot volume and I made random gestures to show how hysterical she was. Once, she cried, “You’ve killed a 7-year old? How does that feel?!” to try and bestow guilt to the men. When we cross-cutted back to my scene again, I was by now crying because the pain had become too much to bear.

Role-play
For the first two lessons, I played the character of Paul Morgan in a variety of situations, each of which helped his character to develop more and more. However, there were lots of things about him that I kept consistent in all my performances – he had quite a high voice for a boy, and always had an eager stance. In a whole-class role-play, every student played a child in the playground, and I was with my sister, Dawn, who was being naughty. I was scolding her, but as the child, so I didn’t sound too grown-up. Paul was somewhat of a caricature at times when he was over-helpful, and I showed this through exaggerated movement and voice.
One of the stimuli given to us was from Trojan Women, a Greek Tragedy. Although not immediately apparent, there are actually quite a few parallels between this play and the Aberfan play – death of children, grieving mothers, and the disaster as a murder. We devised a stylistic piece reading lines from the poem, and we each played the mother, with variations on their emotions. My emotion was anger, and I exuded rage through my dark tone of voice, and cold glare that I gave the audience, intended to scare them. In the opening line, I screamed “Our state has dealt you a savage blow,” putting emphasis on “savage” and pushing the two people in front of me over with exaggeration. This scene was all about over-the-topness, because grief is an emotion that is over-the-top.
Another time, I played the mother whose child had survived. The stimulus we used as this piece of improvisation was the line, “Why my child, not yours?” and in it I was faced with a bitter, sorrowful mother that had nothing on her mind but revenge. Here, I portrayed my character as young, nervous – she had a constant twitch and often stammered, mainly because of the creepy behaviour of the other woman.
The roles I played in this workshop were all very different, yet I felt that they are related to the Aberfan disaster, and each one helped me to understand and empathise with each character more.