If you follow me online, then you know I love anything and everything Victorian- 1930’s. i thrive on a antique bohemian look, and naturally I love any films from this time period and set in this time period. But what are some of my favorite modern films set in this time period? Here’s a few:
1.Pretty Baby, 1978- A rather racy and controversial film set in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. Inspired by real life photographer, E.J. Belloc’s photographs of actresses and prostitutes from that same time and place. The story centers around a very young child who is forced to live the same lifestyle she was born into by her sex worker mother. Despite it’s disturbing plot, the decor and fashion is incredible and very true to the time it represents. One of the most beautiful fashion in any film in my opinion.
2. L’Appollonide, Souvenirs De La Maison Close, 2011- In the same style as Pretty Baby, it focuses on the life of the women working in a turn of the century brothel. The film is quite realistic and in that sense, very sad at to what life must have been life. Regardless, it stands as an incredible and beautiful film in my eyes. The decor and fashion really pay a true homage to the era.
3. Daughters of the Dust, 1991- An incredible film written, directed and produced by Julie Dash. This story follows a family in turn of the century living in the Gullah community of coastal South Carolina. It deals with the trials and tribulations of modern vs. old traditions. Some seeking a new life on the mainland, others wanting to stay and honor their traditions.
4. The Last Mistress, 2007- Sad and beautiful film directed by Catherine Breillat. It stars Asia Argento as mistress, Vellini who is enthralled in a decade long affair with a man who is meant to marry the most “marriageable young woman in all of French aristocracy.” It follows the story of their sad and passionate love affair, which has to come to end to please his new bride. In time you find out that he cannot stay away from his mistress, to the dismay of his wife. Asia Argento’s clothing in this film is a great break from the typical Victorian era style clothing.
5. Barry Lyndon, 1975. Last but certainly not least on this list, the Kubrick classic, Barry Lyndon. The film is set a bit farther back then Victorian era, but it definitely stands as one of the most beautifully aesthetic films I have ever seen. Barry Lyndon is a young man who would do anything to climb up the social and financial ladder, except be a good husband to his incredibly wealthy wife, Countess of Lyndon. One of the most beautiful shot films ever, lit by actual candle light and inspired by William Hogarth paintings. Marisa Berenson’s character, the Countess of Lyndon is both melancholy and beautiful in quite an extravagant way.