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NYC Film Festivals

Fashion Slate

A still from the 1982 cult classic Liquid Sky, featured in the Museum of the Moving Image's Fashion in Film festival (Photo: MoMI)
By Elena Marinaccio

This London-based Fashion in Film Fest will celebrate its New York premiere Saturday at Astoria's Museum of the Moving Image, surveying what co-curators and founders Christel Tsilibaris and Marketa Uhlirova describe as the contradictory "stigma and enigma" of costume and fashion in film. But these Bard schoolmates insist that this isn't a festival exclusively for the fashionistas.

"We hope to attract a diverse crowd including housewives, art students and Goths because our own interests span the worlds of art, fashion, subculture, film and TV – quite seamlessly so in fact," Uhlirova wrote this week in an e-mail to The Reeler. "The festival is a set of different approaches -- the result of different interpretations of the key issues we were tackling. One of the most important things is that we have combined footage in hopefully quite unexpected ways -- early and avant-garde experimental film with newsreels and commercials, [which] represent the everyday and very accessible element of cinema and make such wonderful case studies! We show our program in arts institutions but dipping into popular culture (for lack of a better expression) is really dear to us and will remain so."

The common thread weaving throughout the festival's patchwork of various programs is the desire to understand the alternately troublesome and elusive relationship between the moving image and fashion, as seen in the illustrated lecture The Enigma of Clothing, which will feature film and video shorts from throughout the last century. Tsilibaris will explore the seedier side of our soles this Sunday afternoon with her program, Shoes, Eroticism, and Fetish, which will include a showing of Luis Bunuel's 1964 film Diary of a Chambermaid, several shorts, and a talk on the lusty and voyeuristic notions presented in these films. "I have a big love affair with shoes," Tsilibaris wrote, "so it was obvious that I had to do something with the subject!"

The fest will also feature several rare screenings, such as Marcel Fabre's 1914 silent film Amor Pedestre, and other fashionable favorites like the 1966 film Who Are You Polly Magoo? by William Klein (who made a uncommon appearance at last year's festival), David Byrne's directorial debut True Stories, and a showing of the '80s cult film Liquid Sky, which seems to be Uhlirova's favorite ("It's a trippy film about New York and will grow and multiply on you like a hallucinating bed bug," she noted). Director Slava Tsukerman, cinematographer Yuri Neyman, and production and costume designer Marina Levikova will introduce the screening this Saturday night.

The Fashion in Film Festival runs March 17-25 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, visit the museum's Web site for more information.

Posted at March 16, 2007 4:09 PM

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