Frock Flicks Free-for-All February

26

You asked for it, so here’s an occasional open thread to bitch about anything tangentially related to history, costume, movies, or TV shows! Or whatever else is on your mind right now. Note that URLs are automatically held for moderation, but most anything else goes as long as you’re not bitchier than we are!

Snark Week is over, long live Snark Week! Hope you enjoyed it this year. Now we’re back to the old grind, hunting down the few frock flicks on the upcoming movies calendar.

Bridgerton (2020) - Nonsense, I Find It Entertaining

 

What are you watching next?

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The Frock Flicks Team

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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

26 Responses

    • hsc

      Yeah, the Snark Week material is not only some of the most fun we have here, but there are also posts in there like Kendra’s post on “shiny white 18th c. movie wigs” that have SO much real educational value about “what’s accurate for the period” crammed into one post.

      I love sharing the snark, but I love the things I learn here even more.

      Reply
  1. Buffy Charles

    Silvia Moreno -Garcia ‘s book Mexican gothic is to be adapted into a tv show on Hulu. It’s set in the 1950’s.

    Reply
  2. susan l eiffert

    Enjoyed Snark Week very much! Love the bitchiness but also your clever and literate wit!

    Reply
  3. Alexander

    Thank you for an amazing Snark Week! I wish that every week could be Snark Week – but I realise that it must be exhausting for you to produce so much quality content in such a short space of time. It is much enjoyed and hugely appreciated. I was surprised at the inclusion of The Lady and the Highwayman in Snark Week, as I have very fond memories of the film from my childhood… especially of the costumes and hair. But I was also thrilled that Sarah had written a post on it and I was very, very pleased that there were lots of lovely pics to peruse. I was struck by how stunning their Barbara Villiers was and how appropriate and well made the costumes were in general. Me’thinks that some money had been thrown into this film.

    Reply
  4. Frannie Germeshausen

    I am in awe of the stamina of you three goddesses to produce such volume of excellent, funny and, yes, informative/educational snark! You must be exhausted. Have a pink drink!

    Reply
  5. Mizdema

    Funny and your posts on FB hilarious!
    Next : XVIII century quest on french TV : The adventures of Young Voltaire ….

    Reply
  6. Lily Lotus Rose

    Ditto to all the praise of the blog in general and Snark Week specifically!! Next up for me: Bridgerton, La Revolution, and The Dig. I have too many shows in rotation to add anything new to the mix, but I can’t wait to feast on these two shows and movie. Also, I might try again to get into Britannica. The first episode is so dumb, but overall I love stuff about ancient Britain and the supernatural but…the first episode is so dumb!!!

    Reply
  7. Katie O.

    I watched The Dig last night. It’s a quiet movie (both literally and figuratively… I had to turn on the subtitles lol) but lovely. There were only a few female characters but I thought their costumes were good. Also I just finished The Queen’s Gambit last week and now keep going back to rewatch my favorite scenes/favorite costumes.

    Reply
  8. Mary

    I had to go back and reread the MCM for Christopher Plummer (and his beautiful profile). Sadness.

    Reply
  9. Sarah

    Hello! Thank you for your blog. I love it. So happy I’ve found it.

    Is there any possibility you all might take a look at ‘A Discovery of Witches’ season 2? It’s set in 1590 London and I’ve been using your rules to judge the costumes. Hairpins? Yes ! (Mostly) Floating Neck ruffs? No!

    Did I mention that Matthew Goode stars? !

    Reply
  10. Saraquill

    Haven’t had the urge to sew in ages, but still really want to costume. I’ve been doing a lot of historical knitting and crochet work as a result. One of my stash yarns is pretty, but keeps breaking every few inches. Not sure how many period (Victorian) people would tolerate so many lumps in their shawl. I’m halfway between amused and concerned.

    Reply
  11. Ida

    Can we talk about the 17th century bits in The Haunting of Bly Manor? I am still traumatised.

    Reply
      • Ida

        Indeed. It’s a companion piece to The Haunting of Hill House (I know a lot of people liked it, I did not. It had a cheesy, 90s tv-movie quality about it). It is mainly set in the 80s.
        Turn of the screw is my favourite ghost story ever, and The Innocents is my favorite adaption. I was not keen on the netflix version. BUT THE COSTUMES! They tried to mask the poly satin, underwear-as-outerwear, hairpin shortage and the fact that the “Bly Manor” is a 1900th century (American) gothic revival house by making the episode in black and white. It did not work. Watch at your own peril.

        Reply
        • Amanda J Shirk

          Its not just based on turn of the screw. Every epidode is titled and inspired by a different Henry James story but unless you’re a big HJ buff you’re not gonna get it and it wasnt advertised as such. The whole series is very jumbled and there’s way too much going on. It stops being TotS inspired at about ep 3.
          And yeah the 17th century episode made me suuuuuper angry.

          Reply
  12. Saraquill

    Mini book review for “The Gilded Hour” by Sara Donati:

    I picked it up as I adore historical fiction and two of the leads are women doctors in early 1880s NYC. The back blurb mentioned their struggles between serving their female patients and Anthony Comstock’s anti birth control crusade.

    What I got reminded me so much of Frock Flick’s “How to Create Feminist Stories in a Historical Setting” article. The three leads have very modern values and the setting is mostly dressing. One of the doctors wears split skirts, rails against corsets and has the sex life of a current day woman. Her boyfriend and second lead is both Italian and Jewish, yet no one bats an eye at this. The other doctor is mixed Black and grew up with the upper crust white part of her family who “doesn’t see race.”

    Further demerits include the book being 700+ pages long yet concentrating on the least interesting subplot. Do not recommend.

    Reply
    • Kate Dominguez

      What a shame! Modern values and actions in historical novels/shows that could have been good with the real historical content make me grumpy. Then I come here and have a laugh to relax and un-grump.

      Dr. Maria Montessori was the first female to complete medical school in Rome in the late 1800s. They wouldn’t let her work on cadavers with the men, so she had to come back alone at night to work on the cadaver and hold the lantern herself while working in the basement. The smell of the formaldehyde in the unventilated basement kept making her pass out, so her friend suggested smoking cigars to stay conscious. So she’s holding a lantern and a scalpel and chewing on this big cigar and trying to take notes in a dark basement alone… And she was an unmarried single mom of a son who was raised by a family who lived on a farm and she visited regularly. Once he figured out she was his mom when he was a young man, he stayed with her and helped her with her work– which at first was observing “mentally slow” children in the slums of Rome and creating an environment where they could do hands-on work and learn. (After one year in the environments she prepared, all the “mentally slow” children took the tests at the time and all placed above grade level and well beyond their peers who were in traditional school.) Dr. Maria Montessori was a badass. Where’s the novelization and biopic movie of all this? In America we only know “Montessori” as expensive schools for rich kids. She was way ahead of her time and could use more spotlight!

      Reply
  13. Boxermom

    Just watched “The Legacy” with Katherine Ross. It’s a contemporary flick, but it has a portrait of Ross’ ancestor (who she just happens to look like) from the 16th century. The portrait was extremely well done. It made me think of your post on Shitty Historical Portraits, and wonder why everyone can’t do such a good job.

    Reply
    • Katie O.

      Yeah shitty historical portraits are definitely not limited to frock flicks lol! I remember watching Gilmore Girls in middle school and seeing the portrait Emily has done of Rory and even at the age of 12 and knowing nothing really about art or portraits wondering why it looked so terrible lol.

      Reply
  14. The Scrivener

    Anyone else watching The Long Song on PBS? I think it aired on the BBC late last year. I haven’t read the book yet, but the miniseries is powerful. It’s set on Jamaica before and after the Christmas Rebellion and the subsequent abolition of slavery, through the perspective of an enslaved (now free) woman whose real name is Miss July but whose mistress/employer insists on calling her Marguerite. There’s a real attention to intersectionality as well — race/class/gender — that I haven’t often seen in miniseries about slavery and its aftermath.

    I also find the costumes well done — the vain and silly plantation owner has peak 1830s ludicrous hair and sleeves, while Miss July mostly wears simpler 1820s-ish empire/regency dresses (I’m guessing they are supposed to be hand-me-downs?). The field workers get shapeless peasant linen, sadly.

    Reply
  15. Jose

    Well I would love to recommend some German and Polish series from the old days I’ve seen recently
    TVP VOD
    Modrzejewska – Vod.tvp.pl – Telewizja Polska S.A.
    This is for a polish one with a VPN you can see all for free I find them very pretty and the poles do know how to restore a Series
    The germans I can commend many especially from the 1970’s they’ve made lots of great miniseries based on police novels from the 19th century who work great and look beautiful to begin the first one Die Frau in Weiß (1971) the lead actress also played the infamous Marquise de Brinvilliers

    Reply

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