Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Novel's Time Period Is Showing Up in Movies and on TV...Tonight!

It's one thing to study a time period's look (i.e., the clothing, the hairstyles, the home furnishings, the lack of indoor plumbing!) by poring over pictures in books and reading about all the minute details. But to see your historical era of choice portrayed in a movie or on a TV series is especially satisfying. Observing the way a particular style of skirt moves when a woman walks or the way her complicated hair arrangement stays in place can be extremely helpful in imagining life for your historical character.

I happen to have chosen an era that occurred after the invention of movies, so I have the advantage of seeing people from 1918 in action. For example, here's a 50-second glimpse at women involved in the YWCA during WWI:



The film is a really short peek at 1918, but like I said, I can see a woman's hairstyle from all angles in this clip, and I can watch the way a female walks in WWI-era clothing.

Furthermore, I currently have the opportunity to watch two different WWI-set dramas made in modern times, both at my local theater and on my TV tonight: War Horse and Downton Abbey. The number of movies set during WWII is staggering, but it's usually really hard to find modern-made tales involving the first world war.

I saw War Horse last week (and sobbed like crazy), and tonight I'll be curling up on my couch, switching on PBS, and traveling to WWI-era Europe, paying attention to everything from the rumble of automobile engines to the way everyone's hats fit on their heads.

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