Film

The Tree of Life

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Many of you probably have not seen the movie The Tree of Life from 2011. From what I recall, it was only released in select theaters. I don’t want to call it an “indie” film, because the director and actors (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn) are well established and very well known. The overall feeling or atmosphere is very indie and artsy however! This is perhaps the reason why it wasn’t shown in very many theaters and wasn’t seen by very many people. These are gems you must seek out.

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Fashion Designer Shares Her Black Mold Illness & Symptoms

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Karen Noseff is the Texan founder and designer of Fortune Denim. Even without any background in fashion, her jeans have been worn by celebrities like Fergie, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Mischa Barton… and the list goes on. She is also a contemporary dancer who later pursued singing for a career. Despite being the daughter of a Caucasian father and a first generation Asian mother who threatened to disown her if she didn’t become either a lawyer or a doctor (how typical!), Karen is now pursuing the American dream of doing what she has always loved to do for a living and being really successful at it. What a lucky girl!

Fortune Denim sailor jeans worn by Pin Up Girl Clothing:

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She wasn’t always this lucky, however. Not too long ago, Karen was struck with a rare and understudied illness that was caused or aggregated by toxic black mold. This hapa wasn’t a happy camper when her pretty face frequently transformed into what looked “like a monster,” as she’d say.

Her story is featured in length in a documentary called Black Mold Exposure. The movie is available both on their website and on Amazon and not really found anywhere else. It’s a film worth watching and buying for a friend, and I highly recommend it. It’s also in a way quite entertaining to watch, because it’s real but so bizarre. Below is the trailer:

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As Bruce Banner (Hulk) is to anger, Karen Noseff is to mold.

The worst part about her situation is that not many believed that her sickness was real. You’d think, all she needed to do was to show up to a disbelieving friend or family member’s house in the middle of the night, or whenever she experienced the mold symptom, and show them her deformed face. Yet, she stayed strong. It was difficult enough to go through a sickness like this without a clue about the cause or cure. To be treated like you were crazy by those you trust and love was way too much to bear.

Watch Fortune Denim founder Karen’s interviews about her appearance in the movie below:

My Mold Story

I personally have been a victim of black mold. My mold symptom was developing a bad gluten sensitivity after moving into my husband’s house that had a problem with mold. I nor my family have ever had any allergies to speak of, so this was a real shocker. Something in our house caused it, and it wasn’t very obvious to me at first. The gluten allergy in itself was treated like it was non-existent years ago. Thankfully now, it is widely recognized, studied, provided for with options, and profited from. However as for mold symptoms or mold illness, it is not. My husband is in far worse shape than I am. I can just stay away from food containing gluten, and I am fine. He however is still recovering and figuring out how to heal himself, even after moving to a new residence.

How It Affects You

Just like gluten allergy symptoms, black mold symptoms are not the same from person to person. Once you are hit by a catalyst that lowers your immune system (in this case, black mold), the sky’s the limit on illnesses your body becomes prone to—from allergies to cancer. That is why someone with Lyme’s disease (ticks as catalyst) can have very similar symptoms or remedy for relief as someone with a gluten allergy, a mold allergy, acid reflux, etc. What doctors sell are drugs. What you probably need to do is to get rid of the catalyst first if you can and then strengthen your immune system with naturally available low mold, low toxin food from God’s green earth for starters.

If you have some spare time, please do watch Black Mold Exposure! Let me know what you think of it, and help spread the word about mold illness and what we can do to help others recognize it. What happened to Karen, me, and so many others can happen to you too.

 

Brunette Beauty: The High Cheekbones of Your Highness Suzanne Lloyd

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Law of the Plainsman (1962)

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Twilight Zone as Maya the Cat Girl (1959)

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Twilight Zone – Ms. Thomas (1959)

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Bat Masterson –  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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Bat Masterson –  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

I first fell in love with Suzanne Lloyd’s face (particularly, her cheekbones) on season 1 episode 9 of the Twilight Zone called “Perchance to Dream.” Although her outfit was rather skimpy in that episode (she was playing the antagonist afterall), her face and acting were enough to capture hearts.

You won’t see too much of Suzanne on the Web though sadly, but you should be able to retrace her movie and TV appearances (mostly TV) from her full filmography on trusty IMDB. She played SEVERAL characters on The Saint, a TV show that ran from ’64 to ’69. She appeared in TV shows like The Avengers in ’65, Zorro from ’58-’61, and Bonanza in ’61.

I seriously think that women in the 40s/50s generally looked better than Hollywood actresses today because the food was better then. It was more organic and less commercialized. The women appeared to be healthier too, but of course a lot of it has to do with the changing perception of beauty as well.

Although I have high cheekbones myself, mine aren’t close to the likes of Suzanne Lloyd’s. However I’m sure with the right contour makeup and technique, you can achieve something like this! I’m a newbie with contouring, but I am having a lot of fun experimenting with highlights and shadows to achieve a chiseled feminine face like this lady!

Flicks Inflict Fashion Feature: Moonrise Kingdom

Alas, Wes Anderson has done it again. Moonrise Kingdom looks like ’60s French Pop with its soft pastels and costumes. I don’t know—I think that style has been a bit overdone the past couple of years. I still like it, but it doesn’t toot my horn as much as it used to anymore. It’s too indie-girl cute, but then again—seeing Moonrise Kingdom has somehow made me like it again. It’s  beautifully chaotic, and the kids have attitude.

Is it devious of me to get amused seeing kids on screen causing/being a riot? That particular “art form” has gotten tamer throughout the years, though. Think Bad News Bears or The Goonies. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I actually have kids of my own. Right now, it’s just downright entertaining.

Check out Bill Murray and Kara Hayward (Suzy) wearing high fashion “space suits” from Harper’s Bazaar’s photoshoots.



Besides the obvious reusing of actors, here are just some of the style theme repeats from some of Wes Anderson’s other movies that I saw in Moonrise Kingdom:

The female lead, Mrs. Fox, from Fantastic Mr. Fox wore a bright yellow dress (which I also loved):

Bill Murray’s character, Steve Zissou, from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, wore a floppy red sock-like beanie. This was also worn by one of the other characters in Moonrise Kingdom, but it was green (scroll a few photos up).

One other repeated motif was a shared problem-child personality between young Margot Tenenbaum, played by Irene Gorovaia, from The Royal Tenenbaums, and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom. I vaguely remember Margot wearing knee highs, but I guess it was just the fact that both characters had on high-neck and short-length dresses that made me think their outfits were very similar. Besides that, they were both well groomed and were big book worms.

 

Flicks Inflict Fashion Feature: Les parapluies de Cherbourg

Okay, so this post was actually completed literally minutes before my Web host wiped out my blog’s database about two months ago. Since I didn’t have a backup of that post, I’ll have to write this from scratch. I don’t think I can do as well as that post (it would have been legendary), but I’ll try.

Here lies another Fashion Inflicts Flicks (or vice versa) post, but this time, I am featuring just one glorious movie. I decided I was going to pick one movie every so often for my film series. The very first featured film will be none other than Jacques Demy’s gem from 1964, Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).

This is Geneviève Emery, played by the beautiful Catherine Deneuve. The first time I think I actually saw her in a movie was in Dancer in the Dark, where she plays the friend of Selma, who was in turn played by my doppelganger (I still don’t see it) Björk. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was the film that brought Deneuve and director Demy to the forefront of  international attention. Deneuve’s character, Geneviève, and her mother, Madame Emery, run a petite and fashionable umbrella shop in the streets of Cherbourg, France. Before you think I’m going to give away any of the plot (not even the spoilers), I will not and would never do such a thing—that’s a complete nuisance and deserves some sort of theatrical noose of death. Why not just go see the movie if a post is just going to talk about the plot?

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is an excellent example of operatic cinema, but unlike musicals, characters don’t break out into songs and dances—the whole movie is a musical dialogue between characters. As the characters sing, they manage to keep conversational in manner and facial expressions (they don’t even dance accidentally, though I can tell some of them are tempted to at times). It’s sheer genius. Deneuve also later played in similar style “musicals,” one of which was another Demy movie. I thought it was a nice throwback to her musical days to have her play a minor role in Dancer in the Dark, a movie that heavily featured musical interludes, in her late 50s.

I love how she wears a bow in her hair in almost every outfit. I must’ve gone through a whole season wearing bows in my hair last year, way before I saw this movie. This blue outfit she is wearing above must’ve been my favorite—double bow! Hehe. This movie will make you want to own tiny umbrellas of various shades and colors to match every outfit, but of course, you realize that’s just a bit too much and too hard to keep up with. I already feel way too gloomy and lazy to do anything dynamic on a rainy day—let alone match matched outfits with umbrellas. That would be too much like dealing with a Rubiks cube. The colors are definitely an ironic match to the mood of this movie, much like the colorful umbrellas in rainy weather. This juxtaposition might’ve just been a by-product of mid-60s French art, but l think this might’ve all been done purposefully.

Like a lot of Euro movies, this one is delightfully open-ended, so the feeling I get from this movie might not be necessarily the same feeling someone else gets from this. I’ll stay away from the plot however, and I’ll just mention that there is one minor scene where Geneviève’s boyfriend Guy enters a bar with girls in pretty much burlesque-like outfits (a PG-13 scene). One attractive blonde lady dressed in similar fashion as the rest of the women walks up to him to flirt. Guy, surprisingly, turns her down rather rudely by telling her to go away and talks with this modestly dressed, yet very attractive brunette instead. Well, they end up going to bed together right away, but that’s not the point. He probably could’ve done the same thing at the same speed with the other lady who was trying a bit too hard to please with the way she dressed, but he didn’t. It’s either he’s done with what he thinks are “easy” girls, or that blondes remind him of Geneviève—or  a combo of both. It wasn’t that he preferred brunettes over blondes either, because his girlfriend was very much a blonde. I thought it was just interesting how this whole scene fell together, which somewhat relates to the theme of this blog (not the part about brunettes vs. blondes).

Deneuve, at least in this movie, reminds me of Tippi Hedren’s clothes in most of her Hitchcock movies with the splashes of color, rigid lines, and of course, the modest outfits. Again, this might’ve just been very typical of day-to-day 60s outfits, which I find very agreeable.