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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What item have you bought — or wanted to buy — because you saw it in a movie or on TV?

Jenna at Jezebel attended the first of a series of free screenings at New York’s The New School of movies focused on fashion, and in her writeup she quotes New Yorker writer Judith Thurman, who introduced Annie Hall:

In 1978 in Nairobi, I got this bag. I got it because it was Annie Hall’s bag.

The rest of the piece is a fascinating look at how Diane Keaton’s clothing in that film continues to influence fashion to this day. But I’m more interested in the larger issue: that the things we see in the movies sometimes so overwhelm us with their coolness that we want to possess them ourselves.

What item have you bought — or wanted to buy — because you saw it in a movie or on TV?
I’m not talking about tie-in merchandise here, about something specifically designed by a movie studio and molded into a toy or a T-shirt to separate you from your money because you loved a movie so much. And let’s keep it real — don’t say you want a lightsaber or a wand from Ollivander’s (we’ll do fantasy shopping tomorrow). But money’s no object: If you lust after a sportscar James Bond drove, that’s cool. And vintage-ness is no barrier, either: If the dress that Molly Ringwald wore in that John Hughes movie was probably rummaged up out of a secondhand shop and is unlikely to ever be found again, that’s okay, too. The point it: The things you want, for purposes of this discussion, should be real and actually attainable (even if it would require a lot of luck and/or money to get them into your possession).

Have fun…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Want to have:

    Colin Firth’s wardrobe from Pride and Prejudice.

    B.A.’s van.

    A DeLorean.

    Have bought:

    Two trench coats, in an attempt to look as cool as Al Pacino in the first two Godfathers. Attempt failed. ;-)

  • kathleen

    I bought a leather jacket that is the same as the one Martha wears in Doctor Who

  • JoshDM

    Got me one of those air-computer displays from Minority Report, but it doesn’t work because I don’t have futuristic wall sockets.

  • Isobel

    It’s mostly period clothes for me too, I’d quite like Jennifer Ehle’s costumes from Pride & Prejudice. Also the Victorian bustle dresses from The Young Victoria (I occasionally track down actual antique Victorian dresses online and wish I had a spare few thousand pounds – they are works of art as clothing, even if completely unwearable these days ’cause they’re so tiny).

    I also want the cottage owned by Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday and Mark Darcy’s London townhouse from Bridget Jones’ Diary.

  • when i saw sue charton’s black and white shoes in “Crocodile Dundee” i wanted them. and now i have some almost exactly like them.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Medieval weapons and armor (Renfest geek, not a survivalist wingnut).

    The authentic handforged stuff can run hundreds or thousands of dollars per item, so I never quite manage to part with the money.

  • I started drinking Campari after seeing it in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. It’s great with a bit of soda water or ginger ale, but there’s no way I’d drink it on the rocks like Zissou. That guy’s crazy!

  • markyd

    “More Rum!” – after watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

    I’m with BF on the medieval stuff. Too bad it’s just so cost prohibitive, though. I DO have a sword and shield in my living room, but that’s it.

    I really can’t think of any specific thing from a movie that I HAD to buy. hmph

  • Remembering a few other items:

    I once bought a fedora mainly, I suppose, because of Indiana Jones. (Where did I put that?)

    And for a while, as a kid, I walked around carrying an oversized blue marble because it made me feel like Robert Hays with his energy ball thingy in the TV version of Starman (based on the even awesomer Jeff Bridges film). Sad, I know.

    Oh, and I wanted Michael Jackson’s outfits from “Billie Jean” and “Thriller.” Didn’t everyone? ;-)

  • i remember a few other things (i’m obviously easily influenced by visual cues!)that i wanted and mostly acquired:

    1. a black trench coat i saw on some spy show (my parents got me one for christmas one year when i was 12)
    2. a bowler hat like john steed’s in the Avengers
    3. many other kinds of hats, including a pith helmet (i have many hats, including the pith helmet)
    4. walking sticks (i have several) seen in the Avengers
    5. champagne (in oh so many movies — and the Avengers. hmmm i see a theme developing here)

    i’d better stop now that i have revealed what a pathetic dork i am already.

  • Henry

    I have tried repeatedly to buy different replicas of Audrey Hepburn’s sunglasses–black ones, white ones, tortoise ones. For some reason, I just look like a blind bug in them. Sigh.

    But, when I was 5, I made my mom do my hair like Belle’s and asked my parents if we could move somewhere that had a library with a nice old man librarian and a ladder I could swing myself across the bookshelves on.

  • Typhin

    I broke down and got this cool dual-dial watch from Android since it looked so much like the ones in Equlibrium.

    http://www.android-usa.com/2008/product_info.php?cPath=0_116_119&products_id=289

    Now if I could just master the gun kata… :-)

  • Drave

    Oh god. The lizard tail he wakes up with in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I want it so badly, but I’ve never been able to find that exact one.

  • Becky

    My thing? Navy/dark blue nail polish.

    I was *obsessed* with finding the colour after watching ‘X-Men’ in ’00. Mystique’s nails were this colour – and I hunted *high* and *low* for the exact (or near enough!) colour.

    Loreal nail polish did the trick. Can’t remember the number but I think it’s still available.

    We will *not* discuss the whole Ten/converse issue! (I want the burgundy ones – I’ve seen lo-tops but not hi-tops – but I shall continue my search;))

  • Yes, I lusted after a Bond car, the one from “Casino Royale.” You could shave using it’s hull as a mirror.

    I got a real kick of already having a coat a lot like Angel’s from “Buffy,” especially after the “Angel” episode with all the jokes about how the cool coat make Angel a hero because Wesley was wearing it and was treated as the hero. I suppose that’s retroactive buyer’s happiness.

  • Orangutan

    After seeing The Transporter, I set a life-goal of owning a BMW 735i.

    I’ve also been extremely tempted to get a pair of All-Stars again, usually after watching Dr. Who. I’ve just never had any luck with them, they never seem comfortable. Even though I really REALLY want them to be. =/

  • Theres only 1 answer for this question…

    The Wizard – Power Glove

  • I remember being obsessed with a particular jacket I once got for either Christmas or my birthday because I thought it worked like something Indiana Jones would wear. But that was long ago.

    More recently, I remember wishing I could buy a watch like the one Jodie Foster’s daughter wore in Panic Room for one of my diabetic relatives but, alas, such watches don’t seem to be available to the general public–if they weren’t fictional altogether…

  • Hmmm i see a theme developing here.

    What theme is that?;-)

    * Says the guy who’s had a die-hard crush on Emma Peel for years. And yet she never calls. She never writes… *

  • My daughter got hi-top burgundy Converses here in Ottawa, Becky. But you don’t want to discuss that..

  • JoshB

    I think it wouldn’t be so bad to hurt my leg, cause then I could get a cane like House.

  • Ide Cyan

    Lots of things, but, notably, puzzle boxes, after seeing the Hellraiser movies. And I own a couple of them now, of the japanese himitsu-bako type (they aren’t modelled on the Lament Configuration), which are wonderfully crafted with inlaid wood surfaces, some of which even make a tinkling sound upon opening. And when I can afford it I’d like to get some of the more upscale Karakuri Creation Club boxes.

  • MarinaB

    There’s a red and white dress that Cybill Shepherd wears in Taxi Driver that I would buy, though there’s probably something wrong with me that I remember that.

    Oh, and I really wanted a Mini Cooper for about a week after I saw the Italian Job remake. But I suspect that one was intentional.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Overwhelmingly, after seeing Zodiac I wanted a badge that said “I’M NOT AVERY”. I still can’t believe no-one has got round to marketing those yet.

  • iakobos

    This is an easy one. If money were no object, but alas it is, I’d own a yellow 2010 Camaro with black racing stripes. It need not turn into a giant robot.

  • Ralph

    A friend of mine used to have a set of whiskey tumblers as used by Deckard in Blade Runner: http://props.steinschneider.com/blade_runner/square_glass/deck_glass.htm .

    I wants them. But not QUITE enough to pay the prices they’re asking…yet.

  • Christine

    I’ve wanted the monkey bookends from ‘Wonderfalls’ for years. Each time I’ve tracked them down online, however, they’re just a bit too expensive.

    Some day, they will be mine. Oh yes.

    I also want Olive’s and Chuck’s wardrobes from ‘Pushing Daisies.’

    This has been your Bryan Fuller reference for the day.

  • zepto

    Add me to the list of people who have bought Converse shoes because of Ten. Also, I’ve wanted a Mini Cooper since The Italian Job, but I think I’ve just about talked myself out of it.

  • Remy Michael

    The underlying goal in my life has and will continue to be achieving financial wealth to the extent that I can make such an overwhelming offer to Richard Steele of Team Robotics UK to buy the original Johnny Five from Short Circuit & Short Circuit 2 that there would be no conceivable way he could refuse.

    It will happen.

  • I bought L’air du Temps after seeing Silence of the Lambs. I don’t wear it anymore, but I still kind of like it.

  • LaSargenta

    When I was devouring the Sherlock Holmes stories as a kid, my mother bought me a deerstalker…even though I didn’t understand the reference until I saw the Rathbone movies later.

    I did want to buy a newspaper after seeing Citizen Kane, but, my mother told me I’d have to inherit a goldmine first and that wasn’t happening in our family.

    Some dickwad my mother worked with told her (in my hearing, when I was 11) to make sure I never bought a house with a swimming pool… (hint: ever read The Great Gatsby in Lit. class?)

    I stopped wearing some stuff after Desperately Seeking Susan came out ’cause my friends and I knew that Everyone would start dressing like that.

    My stepfather got me a fedora when Raiders of the Lost Ark was out. It was a really, really nice one, from Borsalino.

    I really wanted a shimmery ballgown with maribou feathers on the shoulders after watching Ginger Rogers dance in Swing Time (I think that was the movie. I had a b/w still of her and Fred doing a jette from the big number with her in that dress!)

  • Every damned time we go to a yard sale and I find the Tupperware condiment container with the pump attachment (aka “Sweet Savers”), I have to buy it. They’re the cups used by Luke’s family on Tattooine: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/5815578 .

    (For the record, a friend who has been a Tupperware collector for years, told me about these, having gone ape-shit upon seeing them when she saw Episode 4 (when it was just plain old “Star Wars”) for the first time.)

  • Uhh… bats :[ … you sure about that link? Those didn’t look like pictures of Tupperware cups to me.

  • ROFL those aren’t cups! It’s a trap!!

    (either that or bats forgot to verify his clipboard capture before trying to post that link. what the hell is wrong with you, bats?)

  • AARRGHHHHH, GROSS!!!

  • Ahahahahahaha. Please tell me those are really his and that was an honest accident. PLEASE!

  • AJS

    I would love to own Gull Cottage from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and I’d love to be able to pull off Stephanie Zimbalist’s fedora from Remington Steele- but I know better. :)

  • Orangutan

    Well, it happened. I caved. I bought a pair of Converse All-Stars. I hope all you Whovians are happy!! :)

  • Clothes you can normally pull off? That’s what parties are for. Costume parties, if no where else.

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