Frock Flicks Free-for-All June


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!

A recent report by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain found that barely 11% of U.K. movies and 28% of British TV drama was written by women, despite the fact that “that films written predominantly by female writers tend to have higher revenues, both domestically and internationally, than those written predominantly by their male counterparts.” Shows like Victoria and Call the Midwife have female scriptwriters and are worldwide hits, but the fucking patriarchy says that’s enough chicks writing filmed stories, right? UGH.


Some ppl object to powerful depictions of awesome ladies


What’s your opinion?


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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.

42 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    I agree women directed, produced shows have a voice that is entertaining, profound (even the eye candy and I’m including Outlander and Harlots in this), their message is subtle and thought provoking.
    TV and Cinema needs more women projects from script to screen.
    I’m still waiting for an accurate MoS series, a biopic on Leontyne Price, a series on several women in history from Vignee Lebrun to Artesmesia Gentileschi.

  2. gamma

    Just want to throw some love to Cold Comfort Farm, the 1995 film starring Kate Beckinsale and Eileen Atkins (and Rufus Sewell, Ian McKellan, etc.) set in the early 1930s. Disclaimer: I am no period fashion expert. But to my untutored eye, there are the elegant ones (Joanna Lumley, Kate, and Harry Ditson as Earl P. Neck “Is the House of Usher open?”), the unwashed masses (Eileen, Ian, et al), and those who blossom from unwashed to elegant (no spoilers!). What do you think of the costuming?

  3. Saraquill

    Ugh, I hate the stereotype of “only cishet white males can garner sales.” It snowballs into so much other garbage in media like “how can wimmin if no bewbs” and “all white, all the time.”

    • Kelly

      I loved Black Panther because the female characters costumes were about them looking badass, not sexy (although played by beautiful women). Whereas Wonder Woman still had boob armor, which could kill the wearer.

      • Trystan L. Bass

        +1 I enjoyed Black Panther more than Wonder Woman — not just the costumes, but the storyline & backstory was better developed. Wonder Woman felt … incomplete? simplistic? shallow? IDK, but I came away thinking I was the only woman in the world to not be super rah-rah about that movie. whereas Black Panther was pretty damn satisfying on multiple levels.

        • Nzie

          Black Panther was a better story than Wonder Woman. That said, I felt “ra ra” not because WW was perfect but because she was a great character and the Amazons were super amazing… As a girl I was very interested in military history, so it was also just interesting to see ancient martial styles vs WWI weapons. So, there were a lot of feels there (and I totally went to NYCC as Diana Prince in Great War London, thanks for the reference images that helped me get the auxiliary look before the DVD came out.. not a seem for seem match but not bad). But I think Black Panther was a more compelling story in many ways, with a truly interesting and compelling villain (WW’s was more caricature-like) and it is pretty much the mic drop to everyone who thinks including more women = taking away from men, because both male and female characters were well-developed. Also, AMAZING costumes where they were obviously a lot more free to be inventive and very multicultural… but not super historical (although referencing traditional clothing and cultural practices).

  4. Saraquill

    On another note, I know the Kendra, Trystan and Sarah have a thing for pink drinks. Anyone here try noon chai? It’s supposed to be a pretty pink color, though my one attempt to make it was an ordinary tea-brown. It’s a salty-sweet spice tea. While the flavor isn’t bad, I had trouble wrapping my head around it.

    • Kaite

      Speaking of pink drinks, Strongbow is now making what they call a ‘Rose Cider”. Its a apple/pear blend, and is pleasantly, but not excessively sweet.

      • Nzie

        I tried a Rosé cider from Angry Orchard recently and it was good. More purple-pink, but in the fun sweet drink category I’m all about kir. :-)

  5. mmcquown

    For once, the Yanks arfe ahead of the Brits in that area; there are far more women-produced and directed films now than ever.
    As an aside, some of you might enjoy the sort-of medieval costuming and music of the medieval metal band Corvus Corax, but look for the earlier work, not the most recent, such as “O Varium Fortune,” and “Ergo Bibamus.”

  6. Kelly

    Anyone have a lead where I can find an underbust corset like Dolores’ in Westworld for a costume? I’ve been looking around Etsy and there are some nice ones, but paying that kind of money for something that won’t need to shape much since it stops pretty seems a bit excessive.

    Willing to forgo complete historical accuracy, my bandolier will be a cheap plastic one from amazon, but want the right “look.”

  7. NK

    Has anyone watched The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, from 2011-2014 I think but recently showed up on Amazon?
    Olivia Coleman’s 1860’s wardrobe in the second (Movie? Episode?) was amazing, and all the costuming seems (to my totally historically untrained eye) really detailed and well done.

    • SaucyMarla

      I just binged on the (4) movie / episodes, and LOVED them! I wish they had made more!

  8. Charity

    My day was ruined recently to find out Starz is making The Constant Princess into a miniseries. I had hoped the Philippa Gregory craze was over, but no.

    Great. See, it was fine as a novel (so not fine, but I’m trying to be nice) because a lot of people had never read it. But now every idiot with a Starz subscription and/or BitTorrent is going to believe whatever load of tosh about Katharine of Aragon the miniseries serves up this time. I dunno if you saw how they portrayed the Spanish monarchs in “The White Princess” but literally, W.T.F.?

    So, now not only do the great unwashed masses think Elizabeth Woodville was a certified manipulative shrew, and the awesome Margaret Beaufort a petty, psychotic murderer, and Elizabeth of York a freaking indecisive brat, and Henry VII a rapist… I have to deal with whatever fresh serving of hell comes with Katharine of Aragon and Prince Arthur.


    • Trystan L. Bass

      We are horrified about that one too! I mean, sure more snark fodder, but Philippa Fucking Gregory makes our collective asses pucker.

    • Rori

      There’s going to be an another STARZ show of Philippa Gregory’s novel??!!

      I need 100 whisky.

    • Peacoclaur

      I suppose it will have Arthur being murdered instead of dying of whatever he died of IRL, him and Catalina consummating the marriage (i’m Of the view they did not) and waaay too much foreshadowing of the young Henry VIII – at least it’s the young beautiful Catalina, not the inaccurate one from so many Anne Boleyn focused works, so a different kind of innacurtrate we’ve not seen?

      I’ll watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII again instead.

      • Isobel

        I hate Philippa Gregory’s Tudor “history” with the passion of a thousand blazing suns.

      • Charity

        Having read the novel, you’re correct on the last two. ;) He and Catalina had loads of hot sex, and she lied about it later (because she was so ambitious) — she was also… surprisingly pro-Islamic given who her parents were. I don’t remember young H8 that much, but as usual, he’ll be a lusty… err.. 10 year old. ;) And yes, at least she’ll be a pretty young REDHEAD this time. Smalls steps, right?

  9. Johnny H!

    Here is a list of lady directors that I’ve come across that I look forward to seeing more of. Julia Ducournau directed the excellent horror film RAW, Anna Biller directed and designed The Love Witch and it is going to become a feminist classic. Chloe Zhao directed the excellent indie film The Rider, a movie that uses non professional actors and it is inspired by the lead’s real life as a cowboy. Lynne Ramsay directed the Cannes winner You Were Never Really Here,

  10. Brandy Loutherback

    I watched the 1st 30 minutes of Little Women (2017) UGHHH! I thought the opening was a Little Women porno with the girls getting ready in semi undress, and there is way too much free stands of hair flying about in the wind! I accept it more with Amy and Beth because in the beginning, Beth and Amy were 12 and 13, too young in those days to put your hair up.

    • Nzie

      they’re supposed to be 12 and 13 but they look more like 16-18… which ruined it. Amy burning Jo’s manuscript is awful, but it is a bit less awful when it’s a 12 year old acting on angry impulse; when it’s a 17 year old slowly burning each page she loses all likability as a character.

  11. Patty Marie

    Nothing much to add except that I love this blog and I am in desperate need of SNARK! Please please please consider a one-off snark day. It’s been such a crappy news week (although when is it not?) and SNARK is needed! I don’t care who, what or where as long as it’s snark-worthy.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      I snarked the hell out of Doctor Zhivago last week! It was an exclusive for Patreon subscribers tho — because I was so annoyed by the movie that my rant ended up super-long ;)

  12. laBelleNoire

    Please, please, do Picnic at Hanging Rock. It has Natalie Dormer and what look to be smashing costumes. It’s available through Amazon Prime Video. The reviews for it seem to be all over the place, though.

      • laBelleNoire

        Yay! I’m going to start watching it this week. It may be trash, but it looks like good-looking trash.

  13. misat0

    I know you guys have a looong list, and probably these are hard to find in English, but if you want snark, you should try to watch the latest Brazilian “period” productions. They range from pseudo-medieval to the 1940’s-70’s. The worst to my eye are the Regency ones, the best are probably the 1950’s or 1970’s ones, but I can’t even mention the “medieval” one without the ” “.
    The latest one is an adptation of several, if not all, of Jane Austen novels together, in 1910’s Brazil x’D

    • karena333

      These sound priceless! Especially the Jane Austen mashup! Probably too traumatic for costume analysis, LOL.

  14. Peacoclaur

    I might have posted this earlier, but this is a proposed TV series about James I and the duke of Buckingham based of a truly dreadful book. I’ve been wanting to see Buckingham on screen that’s not Dumas related for a long time, but this sounds worse than that Philippa Gregory one for STARZ.

    I said I wanted a James miniseries and now I might be getting one – I should be careful what I wish for.

  15. Nzie

    I think Mary Shelley got a slightly broader release last week, so anyone who was interested, check your local listings, but the reviews are not encouraging (although when several are like “she was a wild child where’s the sex?” I roll eyes a bit). It’s still showing in NYC but only one of the several art house and indie cinemas in Manhattan has picked it up. I’m curious because of the costumes and the fact that I have had Frankenstein on my to read list for a while, but I don’t know if I’ll make the effort for it…