Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘goth’

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The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart and the Flowery Girl

Released: 2014
Rated: PG (I would not recommend this for children, most of the content would go over their heads and the feel is too mature.)

The Rules of Having a Clockwork Heart

1. Never touch the hands of your heart,
2. Keep your temper under control,
3. Whatever else you do, never fall in love.

‘Coz then forever more if your heart goes in a spin,
The big hand at your core will pop out of your skin,
Your bones will implode,
The cogs and springs will explode,
And your cuckoo clock heart will grind to a halt for good.

You’d be Forgiven for Thinking People were High when Making This…

On a cold, dark night in Edinburgh in the year 1874 a destitute, pregnant lady falls on the doorstep of a very strange yet competent woman called Madeleine. Madeleine is straightforward and to the point (I emphasize that due to the very forward way she acts as midwife) and many things at once; a doctor, mechanic/inventor and also known by the town as a witch. The baby is born with a heart so cold it’s frozen and Madeleine believes he’ll die thus embarks on early transhumanism or at least cyborg/android surgery with great dexterity. She grafts Jack (the baby) a small cuckoo clock to replace his heart and this leads to some very robotic movements throughout the film. Jack’s mother decides that Madeleine would raise Jack much better than she could and walks back into the cold.

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart

On his tenth birthday Jack is allowed his first trip to town, Madeleine is very scared about the effects it could have on his heart but she can’t always shelter him and so they go… Onwards in their journey – and this film is very much about a journey or journeys and transformations. On this trip the inevitable happens, Jack falls in love at first sight with a girl who plays an organ barrel and interestingly breaks out into thorns (and later wears a petal dress with roses in her hair – no wonder she’s called Miss Acacia). For a child who knows nothing about love he seems to know about sex from one of the lines he bursts out into song with and indeed he must be well versed with romantic poetry.

Madeleine agrees for Jack to go to school after he convinces her that’s the only way he’ll learn about life but cruelty and cold curiosity can start very young as Jack is horribly bullied and his heart toyed with. Circumstances transpire that he ends up on the run from the police with Madeleine faking his death, and so begins the next part of his journey – a tailspin to meet the girl he fell in love and meeting other colourful characters along the way.

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart Madeleine

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart Madeleine Trip

Life is a Dream, and Name Dropping

Continuing the travel theme in which according to Jack he travels ‘halfway across Europe’ from the body of his seemingly homeless mother in Edinburgh (initially I thought it based in Paris) to Spain to find his almost lost love the film also illustrates a huge metaphysical side to this journey, in both as daydreams to apparently magical metamorphosis of the environment interspersed in ‘everyday life’. From Miss Acacia described as a ‘twittering bird in high heels’ literally floating like a pretty Red balloon/flower to train journeys looking like runaway mine-train roller coasters meeting Jack the Ripper on one to a another accompanied by newly found friend ‘a magician on the verge of a wreck’ Georges Méliès (Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès in ‘real’ life 1861–1938) is also an illusionist and filmmaker, and who has a touch of Phileas Fogg (Around the World in Eighty Days – 1873) about him. One of the films he makes is probably the best rendition of Romeo and Juliet (Juliettes) I’ve ever seen (I hate that play) featuring himself as an undersea diver (another Jules Verne reference?) wooing a Siamese twin laying in a giant clam shell. Another of the journeys to me was very similar to the boat ride scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Even one of my favourite books Don Quixote gets a mention.

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart Georges Siamese Twins

Characterization

I haven’t read the graphic novel this was based on: La Mécanique du cœur (The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart) written by Mathias Malzieu but I have to say so much was going on so fast in this film that I felt the characterization suffered a bit until the last part where it really feels a lot deeper and more ‘real’/heartfelt than the rest. That was highlighted by the tendency of such stories to have excessively styled characters i.e. extreme rather than ‘normal’ or ‘quirky’ – these are very different characters who without time and care taken seem caricatured. That doesn’t mean they are not charming and I can see that they are outcasts or alternative society but rather than perhaps showing that others treat them as a freak show they are presented as such though to an extent they seem to take pride in it 🙂

Whilst I was ok with the above I really didn’t like the voice casting for the child-teen characters – the actors sound far too old. Their verbose and educated dialogue wasn’t the problem it’s more that physically they sounded too adult and that hampered the film for me. The older characters are fine though, from the Marlene Dietrich like Madeleine to the man with a xylophone for a spine in between which oil is externally inserted.

At times they were hard to understand due to the fluid pace of their words and sometimes accents, funnily enough it was the Scottish accents that befuddled me at times over the French ones.

I’m not one for romance films unless they’re beautifully done and this is one of those; a story of love that like the nature of the rest of the film is a fast, heady journey from the first overwhelming flutters to communicating and traversing distances, confusion, treachery, tragedy, despair, understanding and release.

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart and Acacia

Jack Cuckoo Clock Heart and Acacia Moon

Animation

The is very much a dark Winter film, we don’t often see daylight and even then it’s mostly cloudy so it’s a moody affair coupled with symbolism. A strange and surreal movie even for Goth (in this case Steampunk) media and one that perhaps would have also suited stop motion techniques but the CGI here seamlessly fits in with the atmosphere; the constant danger, fear and trepidation to the carnival, festivities and dream like quality it all has.

Sometimes the finish is soft with soft lighting at others it’s sharp where you can see strands of their hair and fabric textures. The characters are mostly stick people with big heads – that doesn’t sound too appealing but it works well like in many of the films mentioned in the Conclusion & Comparisons section below. Most of them have distinctive features and costumes but Jack and Acacia are really the only ones that change in look from a ‘boy next door’ to a dapper, creepy harlequin and her from a ‘girl next door’ to a Spanish senorita.

The Music is the Best Part; Song, Poetry, Rap

Some readers might have recognized the name of the author mentioned earlier but Mathias Malzieu not only wrote the novel, screenplay, directed and voice acted in this but is also the lead singer (and player of um instruments not usually found in rock bands) of the French band Dionysos (not to be confused with the Swedish/German metal or French Canadian progressive rock bands) and the music for this was their responsibility. They released a concept album by the same name as the novel in 2007. Their style or indeed styles translate really well in the film, from the background music to the songs including rock, folk, rap (that’s on top of the already speedy spoken word in dialogue at times) to blues with a ukulele and cymbals. At times it feels a clash that works at others it’s enchanting with vocals of a glass like tone.

Conclusion & Comparisons

Given the conditions of Jack’s heart he goes through many ordeals and changes that could easily have caused cardiac events but we see it smoking and stalling only when in contact with his amour, he even describes her consistently in terms relating to fire.

It’s a very artistic film but I did find it too juxtaposed, if it wasn’t for the last part and the music I would have given it a 3/5. It has a very interesting premise and characters but with the progression of animation techniques and in comparison to now classic or at least much loved films like A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Coraline (2009) it wouldn’t be anything special especially as it looks family friendly/for younger children but really isn’t. In feel it’s more like Corpse Bride (2005) but better, perhaps Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) but not that adult and at it’s very best it perhaps could of had the magical appeal of A Monster in Paris (2011) but it’s too madcap for that. It’s detail is worth noting though it’s not technical like inventive sci-fi, it’s more silly and theatrical in keeping with its genre although the dialogue is a treat and may be more suited to a book format, here it adds to the overall feel of a beatnik-esque experience.

Interestingly this review has too many instances of the words ‘very’ and ‘but’ in it which sums up my opinion of the film – it has a lot of ingredients but… ;-).

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Retrospective Outfit Of The Day – Lady Death

Another outfit from this week – darker and ‘edgier’ this time, mum says I look Russian lol. My vintage Black fabric hat, Black lace up angel sleeve top, Black ruched wrap skirt and tights with Red lips on them.

Black Goth Lady Death Outfit

Black Goth Lady Death Outfit

Black Goth Lady Death Outfit

Black Goth Lady Death Outfit

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Miss This Dress!

Black Jacquard Red Satin Vintage Inspired Dress

Ok no matter how frugal we are, we’re allowed moments of being pretty and missing a dress here and there!

I had to get rid of this dress a while back and something just made me think of it – ah it was so nice! It was a swing style dress and as a petite person it was very long on me but I didn’t feel the need to try and alter it as I think it looked fine. So there to all ye doubters and disbelievers of petite folk not being able to wear maxi or tea length dresses/skirts! I’ve always worn maxi and below the knee lengths and they always look fine, if necessary just alter things to your proportions and it’s a-ok.

This dress was made of jacquard and I love jacquard (and embroidered fabrics) – it could have done with lining but it wasn’t a big loss. The satin trim made it very feminine. *Sigh* Oh the velvet capelet coat I’m wearing there is gone too. Damn.

Anyway, I posted about it before HERE (November 9, 2012) but I just found some pics I had of it and (edited out the background of the indoor ones) in a moment of nostalgia here they are:

jacquard satin gown dress velvet capelet cape lolita coat

jacquard satin red black gown dress velvet capelet cape coat goth gothic victorian

jacquard satin red black gown dress velvet capelet cape coat goth lolita

jacquard satin red black gown dress velvet capelet cape coat goth

It was a couture prototype from HERE.

This is the shop photo:

Chicstar-Black-Jacquard-Red-Satin-50s-Dress

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New Designs – Trousers/Pants Galore!

‘Tis been an age since I submitted any designs to the Chicstar fashion design competition and I decided that since every line of pants they are still selling are discontinued stock I should submit some new ones. Truth be told pants barely ever score well on Chicstar but they are necessary and so many of us wear them. Dresses and skirts are lovely but pants are so much more practical and just as flattering. Hence I submitted the following designs; some have finished scoring (the voting period is 15 days) and some are still being voted on but I thought I’d post them altogether here as I don’t know if/when I’ll get around to other designs.

dapperdolly design lace up pants goth biker

Form fitting stretching lace up pants. Lace up over the crotch and side calves. Insert of the same fabric underneath the calf lacing.
Material: 86% Polyester, 14% spandex

dapperdolly buckle up stretch pants goth biker

Shapely semi-stretchy buckle pants. Zip up front with buckles on the side calves and insert of the same fabric underneath the buckles.
Material: 80% polyester 16% rayon 4% spandex

dapperdolly zip up stretch pants goth biker

Strong yet comfortable zip up pants. Zip up front with side calf zips and fabric underneath them (possibly a softer fabric for the insert).
Material: Ponte i.e. 100% polyester.

dapperdolly buckles straps pockets pants trousers

Shapely semi-stretchy metal accent pants. Boot cut pants with two small splits on the outer side of each leg, front pockets, three buckles on the left outer leg and one pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Discreet zip at the front.
Material: 80% polyester 16% rayon 4% spandex

dapperdolly Black Wide Leg Pocket Pants Trousers

Figure flattering and slightly flowing wide leg pants fold over front ‘belt’/waist band with hook or stud closures underneath and discreet zip. Front pockets and one side cargo pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee.
Material: 85% polyester 12% rayon 3% spandex

dapperdolly wide leg denim pocket cargo pants trousers

Figure flattering and slightly flowing wide leg pants fold over front ‘belt’/waist band with hook or stud closures underneath and discreet zip. Front pockets and one side cargo pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee.
Material: Denim

dapperdolly high waist laced lace up knee length pants pedal pushers

High waisted knee length pants with decorative lace down both outer legs and a small split at the bottom of each to allow the last two hoops to be functional and adjustable. Lace up at the back.
Material: Bengaline – 85% Polyester 12% Rayon 3% Spandex

dapperdolly velvet pedal pushers knee length pants

Sexy knee length pants with functional buttons at the front and bottom sides of both legs.
Material: Velvet

dapperdolly wide leg work suit pants trousers knee length

Work ready or just chic knee length wide leg pants with single middle pleat front and back, and upturned hems. Zip up with attached/fitted belt buckle on the waist band and two flat (suit style) front pockets.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly stripe pinstripe laced lace up pants

Boot cut fitted pants with lacing on the right side leg only, two functional flat block colour pockets on the back and 4 belt loops around the waist band. Discreet zip up front.
Material: 85% Polyester 12% Rayon 3% Spandex

Variations

These designs are variations of the ones above e.g. varying colours, prints, fabrics and details.

dapperdolly grey black stripe pinstripe lace laced up pants

Grey/Black pinstripe. Boot cut fitted pants with lacing on the right side leg only, two functional flat block colour pockets on the back and 4 belt loops around the waist band. Discreet zip up front.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly red rose print stripe pinstripe lace laced up pants

Stripes & Roses print. Boot cut fitted pants with lacing on the right side leg only, two functional flat block colour pockets on the back and 4 belt loops around the waist band. Discreet zip up front.
Material: 92% Polyester 8% Spandex

dapperdolly brown stripe pinstripe lace laced up pants

Brown stripe. Boot cut fitted pants with lacing on the right side leg only, two functional flat block colour pockets on the back and 4 belt loops around the waist band. Discreet zip up front.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly brown stripe pinstripe buckles straps pocket pants trousers steampunk

Brown stripe. Shapely semi-stretchy metal accent pants. Boot cut pants with two small splits on the outer side of each leg, front pockets, three buckles on the left outer leg and one pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Discreet zip at the front. This print was recommended by another member.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly cogs wheels print bronze brown buckles straps pocket pants trousers steampunk

Bronze steampunk cogs & wheels print. Shapely semi-stretchy metal accent pants. Boot cut pants with two small splits on the outer side of each leg, front pockets, three Gold buckles on the left outer leg and one pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Discreet zip at the front.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly cogs wheels print black buckles straps pocket pants trousers steampunk

Black & Grey steampunk cogs & wheels print. Shapely semi-stretchy metal accent pants. Boot cut pants with two small splits on the outer side of each leg, front pockets, three buckles on the left outer leg and one pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Discreet zip at the front.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly cogs wheels print black white pinstripe stripe buckles straps pocket pants trousers steampunk

Black & White steampunk cogs & wheels print. Shapely semi-stretchy metal accent pants. Boot cut pants with two small splits on the outer side of each leg, front pockets, three buckles on Black straps on the left outer leg and one Black pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Discreet zip at the front.
Material: 80% Polyester 16% Rayon 4% Spandex

dapperdolly wide leg studded belt pants trousers black

Studded belt. Figure flattering and slightly flowing wide leg pants fold over front ‘belt’/waist band with hook or stud closures underneath and discreet zip. Front pockets and one side cargo pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Decorative studds on the waist band.
Material: Bengaline – 85% polyester 12% rayon 3% spandex

dapperdolly wide leg studded belt pants trousers denim

Studded belt. Figure flattering and slightly flowing wide leg pants fold over front ‘belt’/waist band with hook or stud closures underneath and discreet zip. Front pockets and one side cargo pocket on the right leg just underneath the knee. Decorative studs on the waist band.
Material: Denim

Hope you liked them!

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Weekend OOTD Post

This is one of the outfits I wore over the weekend, most of the pics came out blurry and crappy but here’s some passable ones.

Chicstar Proto Goth Black Red Skirt

Black Red Goth Gothic

Red Black Gothic Outfit Corset Skirt Bolero Velvet Chiffon

Red Black Gothic Outfit Corset Skirt Bolero Velvet Chiffon

Red Black Gothic Outfit Corset Skirt Bolero Velvet Chiffon

I am wearing the ‘Fishtail Long Skirt’, which was a one off prototype from Chicstar.com in Black with Red trim and lace up HERE with a velvet faux corset from Camden market and a chiffon bolero from a small boutique I found years ago. The skirt was very long but completely stretchy so very comfortable yet retained its shape.

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Lace-Up Luscious-ness

Howdy!

Here’s a pic of my awesome mum in the ‘Lace-Up Angel Corset Mini Dress‘ from Chicstar.com. The dress is stretchy, comfortable and could be classed as ‘goth’ in design but my mum loves customizing things or extremely stylizing her image so it became extra goth with 20’s makeup i.e. iconic dark eyes and rich coloured lips on luminous skin, and ancient inspired jewellery – overall being  ancient in a contemporary way. Goddess!

Her pic is also featured in this week’s customer photo competition HERE

Goddess ISIS Lalita Kali Mahakali Apocalypse Black Dress

Here’s the shop photo:

Goth-Black-Lace-Up-Corset-Flare-Sleeves-Dress

It’s only available in limited sizes now and sells at $39.95.

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Red & Gold – Mermaids and Warrior Photos

Hello 🙂

Here are my latest fashion/customer photo entries for Chicstar Competition 3 – posting a pic of yourself or someone you know wearing an item of Chicstar clothing. If you like them please click on the pics, which will take you to their ChicStar pages and why not take a look at the other entries. Perhaps even get involved yourself; it’s a great way of getting discounted clothing, it can be fun and it’s also nice to see the clothing on different people.

Tip – you get $10 for entry into the contest and could win an extra $100.

My photo:

Vamp Goth Gothic Black High Collar Buckles Bow Top

Shop photo:

Chicstar-Vamp-Goth-Gothic-Top

My Photo:

Black Jacquard Red Satin Vintage Inspired Dress

Shop Photo:

Chicstar-Black-Jacquard-Red-Satin-50s-Dress