Almost Kael – my ultimate movie list text by Linda Hadjadj

Dear Shaded Viewers,

photo by Miguel Villalobos
photo by Miguel Villalobos

Please discover my new discovery, Almost Kael, a very refreshing cinema site.

INTERVIEW – I was introduced to Diane Pernet by our mutual friend Laura Albert who thought we would hit it off. We did. Pernet lives in Paris where she runs A Shaded View on Fashion, a fashion blog, the first of its kind really.Pernet also founded A Shaded View On Fashion Film, the first annual festival about fashion films. The submission deadline is the 30th of September if you wish to participate. Let’s now discover Pernet’s ultimate movie list.

The movie that defined your childhood: Les Enfants du Paradis by Michael Carne. It was such a magical love story of a beautiful courtesan and the four men that loved her. I dreamed of having the mime, Jean-Louis Barrault, sitting on the edge of my bed. It is a period piece, a beautiful love story and of course Arletty left quite an impression on me but I guess the real attraction was Jean-Louis Barrault.

The movie that inspires you to be a better person: Suddenly Last Summer. I know it seems like a strange choice but when you see how evil the Katherine Hepburn character was you know that you for sure never want to be as ugly a human being as that. Elizabeth Taylor really had to suffer because of her jealousy and decision to never face the truth.

The movie you think is way too overrated: Before Midnight by Richard Linkletter I just found this movie totally boring.

The movie you think is underrated: Spider by Cronenberg. Dennis “Spider” Cleg played by Ralph Fiennes was a study of a schizophrenic and the dark and haunted mind. Damaged from his childhood because of his abusive father. There was a scene I’ll never forget when ‘Spider’ is at the breakfast table in the half way house run by Lynn Redgrave and he comes to the table wearing all of his seven shirts and she asks him why he is wearing all of them and one of his fellow residents says, “the less there is of the man the more he needs the clothes.”

The movie that makes you really laugh: Zoolander by Ben Stiller. I could not stop laughing through the entire film I thought it was one of the best fashion films. Ben Stiller as a male model with his Blue Steel look was priceless.

The movie that gets on your nerves: Midnight In Paris by Woody Allen. Normally I like Woody Allen, I always see all of his movies and some are fantastic but this was so cliché .

The movie with the best soundtrack: The Virgin Suicides. AIR’s music was so coherent with the mood of the film and Exotica by Adam Egoyan the music composed by Mychael Danna was so kind of creepy and then the song Everybody Knows with the character Cristina dancing to the voice of Leonard Cohen, I loved it all, dark, strange and atmospheric.

The actor/actress you have an unconditional love for: Dirk Bogarde. He has such a range and his characters are unforgettable like The Servant, Night Porter, and of course Death in Venice. And Jake Gyllenhaal I first noticed him in Donnie Darko and then followed his career. I loved him in Nightcrawler, Southpaw, and cannot wait to see him in Nocturnal Animals.

The actor/actress who can ruin a film for you: Keanu Reeves. I’ve seen him in a handful of films and I think his acting is quite bland and I never see what exactly he is bringing to the part.

The director with a perfect filmography : Stanley Kubrick. He is a master with a great range from Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut and of course 2001 Space Odyssey.

The movie you wish you had created the wardrobe for: Martha by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder is one of my favorite directors and I just think that I would have had so much fun creating the characters but I know , of course, that he was a monster to work with.

The horror movie that still terrifies you: The Shining. Chilling. The scene of the twins wheeling down the corridor, the bathroom, and of course the typewriter…. Excellent.

The best love story of cinema: La Belle et La Bête by Jean Cocteau. Let’s just say I was very disappointed when he turned into a prince. I thought La Bête was so romantic with his manner and his rose garden. I loved the scene where he drank water from her hands. Swept Away by Lina Wertmuller was another kind of love story, more about passion of two opposites stranded on the beach.

The most erotic film: The Night Porter by Illiana Cavani. Again what a combination. Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, cold and chilling but so intensely erotic that the costumes continue to inspire designers even now.

The movie with the best fashion style: Death In Venice by Luchino Visconti. The look of Tadizo still resonates and Silvana Mangano in the period pieces simply took my breath away. Of course the scene with Dirk Bogarde on the beach in his white suit watching his obsession, Tadizo and the black dye from his hair dripping down his face was heart breaking.

Cult-classic you pretend you have seen: What would be the point of that ?
Upcoming movie you are looking forward to: Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford. I love Jake Gylienhaal and dark suspenseful films and of course I am enjoying the success of Tom Ford as a film director and there were very good reviews at the Venice Film Festival so looking forward to that.
The 5 movies you can watch again and again and always be amazed by their genius:1.
Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola. Having spent a bit of time in Tokyo I appreciated the film even more. She just captured it and the relationship between Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray was so tender and priceless. I have to admit before this film I was not really a fan of Bill Murray but he won my heart here.2.
Martha by Fassbinder. An emotional S & M relationship that it would be hard to fine a more chilling couple between their first introduction with the 360 degree shot and the taxi and the sunburn on the honeymoon. A real gem.3.
Opening Night by John Cassavettes. Gena Rowlands is one of my all time favorite actresses, I loved the scene near the end when the stage hand said he never saw anyone that drunk that was able to pull it off. I loved the scene with Ben Gazzara asking his wife what it was like to be a woman, trying to understand what Rowlands character was going through, and the line from his wife “If I had known what a boring man you were when I married you, I wouldn’t have gone through all those emotional crises“. And then Gena calling and the wife making crazy movements on the bed like swimming. I love this film with the opening line when Gena says “Everyone wants to be loved.”4.
Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky is a surreal adventure into the head of Alejandro Jodorowsky and I think that adventure says it all lastly.5.
Puzzle of a Downfall Child by Jerry Schatzberg about a distraught model played by Faye Dunaway who is recalling her life through alcohol and drugs. It is so sensitive and perfectly captures the fashion world from the casting agent , the photographers and the emptiness of her life. As I watched it the first time I had no idea that Jerry Schatzberg used to be a fashion photographer but there was no way the film could have felt like it did if he had not really lived it.
Photo credit: Miguel Villalobos
Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.