Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lolita Cinema!

So what movies would a lolita love?  There are quite a few that are popular, and some that aren't, and a few that would especially appeal to lovers of the classical style.  I've done some research, watched some movies, and after recovering from a lace-induced seizure, I can say that these are my top picks for Classic Loli-friendly films.

Now there are alot of other movies out there, and I have in no way seen them all, but I picked these movies for their relevence to Lolita style and its inspirations, and that the film deals specifically with some major facet of the lolita subculture and doesn't just happen to have a girl with a frilly dress it it.  So let me start with No. 1

The Secret Garden (1993)

Why a Classical Lolita would love it:
This movie takes place in the perfect historical period, and the main character, Mary Lennox, is the perfect age for Lolita loveliness.  Her outfits get cuter and cuter as the film progresses, many of which look taken straight from a Victorian Maiden catalog.  Not only the wardrobe but the setting in general is full of delights.  There's a lovely manor in english countryside, a proud robin and other animal companions, and a beautiful and secret garden with unlocked by an enchanting key.  Its absolutely in every way, classical Lolita.
My View:
As a movie its very well told.  I admit I'm rather biased as this movie always will hold a special place in my heart.  I had quite a few oral surgeries as a kid and after drooling on my self the entire drive home my mom would set me up on the fold out couch with some raspberry sorbet and the The Secret Garden.  What made this film stand out against similar family films is that it was probably the quality of the child actors (better than most), the cinematography, and the director's willingness to treat the subject matter as seriously as the author did.  The story is true to the book for the most part, with the only major departure being the death of Mary's parents (an outbreak of cholera was the original cause, the film went with an earthquake).  The manor itself was actually filmed in six different locations, but it all comes together smoothly and creates a perfect picture of a lonely English countryside.  Overall the film is an enchanting balance of sweet and melancholy, and a message of hope and healing.

Little Nemo in Slumberland (1984)

Why a Lolita should see it?
Simply put, this delightful cartoon features Princess Camille, who is everything a Lolita should be in my book.  For starters, she's a Princess, she plays the harp in a room full of  fountains adorned in roses, she sends cookies with all her invitations, she won't hesitate go to nightmare land to save her father (so long as her dresses aren't ruined) and she's not afraid to punch a clown in face if he doesn't stop smoking those smelly cigars.  The movie takes place in the late Victorian/early Edwardian period for the most part, so it has a lot fashionable references there, and Slumber land basically looks like and Angel Pretty print come to life.
My View:
This is another childhood favorite that I puchased recently with some reservation, but it totally lived up to memory.  It's technically and anime, but since the film was based on the famous comic by Winsor McCay, it maintains a mostly western aesthetic.  The animation is wonderful and the story itself is a lot of fun.  I recommend to anyone, "PAJAMA PAJAMA!" 

Alice and Wonderland (1951)

 Why a Lolita should See it:
Yes this is the animated classic we all know and love.  Surprizingly, the film did not do very well when it was originally released, and its almost a cult classic compared to most disney films (though not as 'cult' as the black cauldron), but its eventually found its place in popular culture and now its almost impossible to think of the strange tale with picturing blonde hair and a sax blue dress.  As you already know I'm sure, this film has had a HUGE impact in Lolita fashion.  Its been an inspiration for the style since its beginings and is still one of the most popular motifs for lolitas today from Alice themed prints, to and 'Alice' style headdress, to replicas of the dress she wore in the film.  The wimsical story and art design, and the very eccentric tea party make it the perfet Lolita movie.  There's another retelling of the story produced by Tim Burton.  It's not an exact remake (an internet rumor said it takes place when alice grows up or something) and I'm sure Lolitas will flock to it this May.

 My View:
Well I'm an animator, so my opinion may be biased but I love this movie.  Its still a never ending inspiration to me, not just as a fashion motif, but as a film.  The animation is flawless, naturally, since it was made during a time when Disney animation was at its peak in quality and creativity, and I personally feel like this visual developement of this film is only rivaled by Sleepy Beauty as far as Disney's other classics go.  Alice is a young victorian girl, so this film is one of those that I would recomend to the classical Lolita, and there have been so many version of this story told in cinema for that it would be fun to compare the look of all of them, but there is one version I would recomend to the darker lolita.  For a more Gothic fan, I would highly recomend "Alice" by Jan Svankmajer.  The famous surrealist filmmaker tells the story in visually perturbing way that I think Lewis Carol would be proud of in its absurdity and interesting use of the medium.  It is also animated, but not as a cartoon.  Instead stop-motion is used with a combination of live action, and it uses very interesting materials such as a stuffed (that's right, taxidermy) white rabbit.

Kamikaze Girls/Shimotsuma Monogatari (2004)

Why a  Classical Lolita should see it:
This is a story about a blossoming friendship between the rococo and BTSSB obsessed Loli Momo, and the wild biker Ichiko.  It's basically the movie every lolita see's because of its direct connection to Lolita.  The brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright plays a major part in the film, both in production and plot so its definately something I would recommend if you want to see your favorite outfits on the big (or small) screen.  While this film features mainly sweet styles it does have some merit for the classical Lolita in the first act.  The film approaches the idea of being a 'Lifestyle Lolita' and ties it to the Rococo era, and how that era of style, as well as the culture of the time, influences the modern Lolita fashion.  No the film isn't that deep, but it does make those connections.

 My View:
As movie, well, if you've seen Asian pop films before you won't be surprised.  It has a very youth oriented tone and point of view.  There's a lot of direct narration, breaking the fourth wall, and a very stylistic approach in general, with a few off the wall gags that are down right slapstick.  It was a little to silly for me at first but I quickly warmed up to it.  Basically my view comes to this, if you want to see a cute, fun, infomercial for Baby;  pick this movie up right now.

A Little Princess (1995)

Why a Lolita should see it:
I've seen this one mentioned in several lolita blogs and forums. Its a popular film for girls of this generation and  its not hard to see why.  The story is full of little girl mojo, and every Lolita would love its unyeilding mantra, that "every girl is a princess, no matter what!"  Besides the sugary sweetness of the story, the film is also stuffed with over-sized head bows, lace and frills, boarding school girls, dolls, and a special locket.

My View
A Classical lolita would enjoy the historical setting and fashions.  It takes place during World War 1, which for the most part was part of the Edwardian Era, which actually is when the cupcake shape we like to see with Lolita is fading, even in children's clothes.  Never the less the drop waist dresses are very loli-able.  As a film I found the lead actress playing the 'little princess' to be extremely annoying.  She was adorable, and had the same expression as an American Girl Doll, but her breathy voice was kind of creepy.  The relationship with the black servant girl, while sweet and inspiring, was a bit forced. The ending was way to much of a coincidence for me, and there were some extremely dated special effects sequences.  Of course, this is a movie for young girls so I'm being to critical.

I will also post my top Lolita anime, manga and video games as well in upcoming post. Now go watch some movies!


Post a Comment