Saturday, September 13, 2008

This Is Driving Me Crazy...

Okay, I'm going to own up to something. I actually watch Project Runway. I like to see the creations, and it's nice mindless entertainment. However, one thing has been driving me crazy ever since watching episode 8 (the Diane von Furstenberg challenge) from this season.

Repeatedly, the contestants, the judges, and Diane von Furstenberg referred to the inspiration for her fall line: the 1948 film A Foreign Affair. According to them (and several sites on the internet), this film starred Marlene Dietrich and was about an international spy journeying from Berlin to Shanghai.

Am I the only person in the world who has actually seen the 1948 film A Foreign Affair? I’m beginning to think so. First of all, Dietrich did not play a spy in the film. Second, the film took place in post-WWII Germany and Shanghai was never so much as mentioned. Third, Dietrich was not the lead character - Jean Arthur was. Fourth, spies didn't figure in the film at all - it was about a congresswoman investigating suspected moral corruption among American soldiers in occupied Berlin. Dietrich played the former mistress of a war criminal - and believe me, it was not her finest film. Did Diane von Furstenberg ever actually watch the film before modeling her line on it? I have doubts. I doubt she realizes that she based high fashion on a film set in a poverty-stricken, occupied country!

If you’re looking for a Dietrich film involving her going to Shanghai, try the 1932 film Shanghai Express. Honestly, you'd think a top designer would check her facts before opening her mouth! Every time they talked about the film on the episode of Project Runway, I burst out laughing.

Since I was feeling a bit bored, I decided to email Bravo TV about the error, just to see if they'll respond. I mean, it was a pretty big error to make!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"