Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costumes for Film Fans: BMFI Favorites

By Devin Wachs, Communications Manager, BMFI

Actors get to transform their look regularly as part of their jobs, but Halloween is one of the few times when the rest of us are encouraged to dress up in crazy costumes. Why should the actors get all of the fun? At BMFI we love it when our guests wear costumes, as fans of our sing-along screenings know. In celebration of the spooky holiday, if you wear a costume to see a movie at BMFI this Halloween, you’ll get a free small popcorn!

If you needed some inspiration getting your last-minute costumes together, here are some of our staff’s favorite movie-themed costumes:
Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education
It’s always fun to see people who’ve taken the time, and have the creativity, to create a costume based on popular movie characters. Who among us men of a certain age never dressed up as Han Solo for Halloween, for example? When the “casting” is right, and the costume is spot on, it can make for a wonderful treat this time of year. However, there is one thing better: When a person uses that time and creativity to make a great costume based on a supporting, or lesser-known, character from a film (blockbuster or no). For example, it never would have occurred to me, in a million years, to base my Halloween costume on Les Grossman, the sleazy producer in Tropic Thunder, played by Tom Cruise in a stunningly hilarious barely-more-than-a-cameo, but I have all the appreciation in the world for this guy who did.

Maxwell Gessner's Les Grossman costume was so perfect, it took home a prize in the 2010 Tom Cruise Halloween Costume Contest run by TomCruise.com, Cruise's official blog.

Valerie Temple, Programming Manager
I'm not into preplanning for Halloween—I usually just whip up a costume by throwing together items that I already own. Of course, I'm the kind of person who happens to have a pair of old-school roller skates and a selection of ‘70s loungewear in her closet. Pop on a blond wig and you've got the perfect Rollergirl (Heather Graham) from Boogie Nights!

Heather Graham played Rollergirl in Boogie Nights. If you have gold lame pants and skates, this costume is an easy one to replicate.

Patricia Wesley, Director of Development and Communications
Main Line thrift shops are my favorite place to shop for Halloween costume materials. A heavily beaded dress from the ’80s plus a fake fur, all the pearls you can find, and an hour with some scissors, and you are ready to go as Daisy from The Great Gatsby. Elbow-length gloves are usually available for a few dollars (you might even find kid gloves). Add a cigarette holder and a beaded cigarette case! Best of all, as Daisy, you have a license to have a great time!

Carey Mulligan dripped in diamonds and pearls as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 version of The Great Gatsby.

Kerri Grogan, Staff Assistant
What I love to see in any costume, not just one for Halloween, is creativity. This costume, make-up job, and prop design was created by Rayce Bird on the reality show Face Off, for a Tim Burton-themed challenge. I think it’s breathtaking. The concept is packed with emotion: it’s all about a musician’s passion for music and for her instrument. It’s also a beautiful interpretation of Tim Burton’s signature visual style and an homage to the emotion he puts into his characters.

Artist Rayce Bird created this beautiful costume, inspired by Tim Burton's work, for the television show Face Off.
For my part, an easy and fun costume for a couple would be the young runaways from Moonrise Kingdom. For Suzy (Kara Hayward), you would need a pink above-the-knee dress, white knee socks, and a pair of binoculars. Pull your hair half-back in a clip and amp up your eye shadow. For Sam (Jared Gilman), you'd need a scout’s uniform (or a similar khaki shirt and shorts) with a yellow kerchief, glasses, and a coonskin cap. A canteen and a pop-gun would make great props. And voila!

Dressing as the young lovers in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom would make for a fun pair of costumes.
We hope to see you in costume on Thursday, and happy Halloween!

What are some of your favorite movie-related costume ideas? Tell us in the comments below.

Devin Wachs is the Communications Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI's staff in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

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