When she was first breaking into the biz, she was fearful of showing her father test Polaroids taken without his OK. “You know those machos, don’t want their women to work. He’s one of those,” she says. “It’s strange how open he was about me being a model. He was so happy.”
-Arlenis Sosa in “The Mink Smile”by Carlene Higgins in Flare August 2013
By: Emily Yakashiro
So I’ve been wanting to see Higher Ground, directed by and starring Vera Farmiga since she made an appearance on the cover of BUST a year or so back. The film is appeals to me personally for a few reasons: it passes the Bechdel Test, it was directed by a woman, and I personally have an interest in stories/films with religious themes (I did my degree in “Religion, Literature, and the Arts” at UBC). It’s also really interesting because Farmiga was pregnant during the filming of this movie, and it stars her younger sister, Taissa Farmiga (who you can see currently in The Bling Ring!) as a younger Corinne (the protagonist of the movie). Other interesting themes in the movie are female friendships and relationships, maintaining an identity outside of societally prescribed roles like a wife and mother, dis/ability, and frank discussion of sexuality in religious communities.
The clothes in this movie are amazing–especially if you’re a fan of early-70s style, though the film covers a couple decades so it’s fun to see things change. I think they serve to represent a greater commentary about slut-shaming, modesty, and to emphasize the rather insular community Corinne is a part of compared to say, her mother or her sister in the movie. They actually talk about clothes a fair bit in the movie, and given the significance of this movie, I figured it was best to do a post here with a few choice screen shots.
Above: Corinne post-baptism, wearing white (you know the movie you’re watching is focused on Western Religions when the protagonist appears in white at major moments)
Farmiga on women professionals in the film industry:
I think certainly there’s that sisterhood, and venues are there for us to encourage each other. But the way I plan on participating and embracing and encouraging some who I want to work with is to create opportunities–develop them myself, either as a producer or as a writer or as a director […] I ache to see more portrayals of female characters that I recognize in myself.
-From “High Times” by Jenni Miller in BUST Aug/Sept 2011
Above: Corinne’s sister (Wendy, played by Nina Arianda) making fun of Corinne’s granny panties.
Above and below: Shots from the Ladies Prayer Group. Note the contrast between what Corinne and Annika (played by Dagmara Dominczyk) are wearing and what the rest of the ladies are wearing.
Above: Love the scalloped details on the jacket.
Above: Corinne and her children at what appears to be a feminist art exhibit. Love the contrast with what they’re wearing versus what curator/gallery assistant is wearing.
Heti: During your celibate years, did you dress differently?
Fontanel: Yes. I had two separate obsessions: to be dressed very sexually, to avoid the reputation of “no-sex girl.” So I dressed with high heels, in black leather, with a push-up bra, and I was very aggressive so nobody could notice I had no sexual life […] Then I had another attitude, to dress like Jane Birkin, with blue jeans. It was to hide my body because I had a very big bosom. My family used to tell me, “Don’t hide your body! Show your possessions!” But it was very difficult because I didn’t want me to come on to me.
-Sophie Fontanel in “…To Meet The Other in Bed” by Sheila Heti in Flare August 2013
Orla Kiely long sleeve blouse, 375 CAD / Bandolera tartan blazer, 52 CAD / The Row lined pants, 1,245 CAD / High heel shoes, 30 CAD / Fornash stud earring set, 26 CAD / Lori’s Shoes pendant jewelry, 15 CAD / Clear glasses, 10 CAD / FIELD NOTES Stenobook, 14 CAD / Maglite 2-D Cell Flashlight, 28 CAD
Everyone worshipping at the almighty altar of great 90s TV-series heroines sends up a prayer to “Our Lady of Skepticism” Dana Scully of X-Files now and then. She puts up with Mulder’s arrogance and erratic (albeit entertaining and awesome) behaviour, and is busy breaking that glass ceiling in pretty much every episode, with some being more distinctly feminist than others. Aside from her brilliance (hello, she works for the FBI, is a medical doctor and is all-around regarded for her genius), we’re especially fond of her very awesome 90s pantsuits, perfect for a woman hunting down paranormal killers and other poltergeists. The associated saying of the show “I Want to Believe,” rings especially true: we believe in Scully.