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It Came from the Booooooooooooooooooooooth
This October 31, let TIFF’s programming inspire a costume made for Film Twitter
Store-bought Halloween costumes are a dime a dozen (though not actually: to dress up like a Ghostbuster or the gang from Stranger Things, you better be prepared to shell out at least $60). If you’re in need of inspiration for a last-minute outfit for this weekend’s barrage of house parties, DJ nights, and office photo opps, TIFF is here to help. Here’s ten suggestions from our fall programming to spark your spooky imagination.
1. Loving Vincent Wanna personify one of the most melancholy painters ever? All you need is a bandaged ear, a straw boater, a button-down from Uniqlo, and a red wig and/or facial hair (do not forget the spirit gum). And if you really want to do justice to the world’s first oil-painted film, we suggest you break out the face paint and get creative with your brushstrokes.
2. Faces Places JR and Agnès Varda’s adorable documentary sees this unlikely duo art-attacking their way across the French countryside. To pull off this idiosyncratic couple’s costume, dress up in JR’s all-black separates (including his signature fedora and dark sunglasses) and get a pal to imitate Varda with a floaty scarf and signature strawberry-and-cream bowl cut.
3. The Mask (Eyes of Hell) The first Canadian 3D feature, director Julian Roffman’s 1961 cult classic screens at TIFF in a digital restoration this Halloween. Luckily, paying tribute to this original Mask (not to be confused with Jim Carrey’s smokin’ alter ego) is easy: all you need is a decoupaged skull you could easily make while pre-drinking.
4. The Square Of the many larger-than-life characters in Ruben Östlund's Palme d’Or-winning art-world satire, the most memorable is the “monkey man” performance artist who terrifies an entire ballroom of black-tie donors with his raw simian energy. It’s an easy look for last-minute partiers: just go shirtless and pair your dress slacks with arm splints.
5. Carmen Jones Dorothy Dandridge became the first woman of colour to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her starring turn in Otto Preminger’s 1954 update of Carmen. Smouldering on screen in a black off-the-shoulder top, red pencil skirt, black stilettos, and a red rose in her hair, Dandridge has had her iconic look copped by Beyoncé (who starred in MTV’s 2001 “hip-hopera” remake of the story) and Rihanna in a 2006 fashion shoot.
6. The Heroic Trio Don’t take your besties’ hackneyed suggestion to do Charlie’s Angels again. Johnnie To’s 1993 sci-fi action epic The Heroic Trio sees three mismatched vigilantes (Maggie Cheung, Anita Mui, and Michelle Yeoh) band together to battle an underground-dwelling tyrant in a bleak dystopian future. To form your own girl gang, all you need are tank tops, leggings, and lace-up boots in the film’s corresponding red-and-black colours, plus as many swords, guns, and nunchucks as you can find.
7. Solaris Andrei Tarkovsky’s eerie sci-fi epic is a haunting meditation on grief set in a space station orbiting a mysterious sentient planet. Get mournful as cosmonaut Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) by donning a rough-hewn leather jacket and unbuttoned collared shirt; and to truly stand out, we suggest you recruit a pal to play the ghostly apparition of your dead wife.
8. Beauty and the Beast Unlike the Disney version, the Beast in Jean Cocteau’s surreal 1946 rendition of the classic fairy tale never saw a blinged-out pendant or bejewelled collar he couldn’t pile on, and he dresses up his Beauty in similarly gaudy duds. For a more budget-friendly option, the film’s candelabras held by disembodied arms require one prop only.
9. La Chinoise You can cop the revolutionary chic of Anne Wiazemsky and Jean-Pierre Léaud (the eternally cool stars of Jean Luc-Godard’s satire of and salute to the new breed of 1960s Maoist radicals) by pairing a cobalt blue work shirt with a newsboy cap; top it off with a Little Red Book for good measure.
10. Marie Antoinette Sofia Coppola has always made costume design a pivotal element of her films, so her oeuvre offers many inspired looks. To truly go for broke, pile your hair high and grab a fan and a rented period costume from Malabar to embody Kirsten Dunst’s decadent, hard-partying Queen of France. It’s a piece of cake, until the guillotine drops.
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