Cinema Sunday addresses music and costume design


Illustration by Alexa Druyanoff

Vasilia Yordanova

Film composer Nick Chuba ’10 and his sister Olivia Chuba ’12, a costume design expert, joined Performing Arts Teacher Ted Walch in a discussion of the 2017 historical drama “Phantom Thread” during Cinema Sunday on Mar. 13.

Nick Chuba focused on the film’s score, composed by musician Jonny Greenwood. Olivia Chuba applied her knowledge of costume design to discuss the movie, which focuses on an haute couture dressmaker, as well as the costumes themselves.

The film takes place in the British fashion world of the 1950s, where fictional designer Reynolds Woodcock and his sister Cyril dress members of high society.

Walch facilitated the conversation between the siblings and the audience members on Zoom, concentrating on the way stories, scores and costumes are woven together when creating a film.

“Phantom Thread” won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 2018. When asked by an audience member whether the film’s costumes were intentionally strange, Olivia Chuba said it was a deliberate choice by costume designer Mark Bridges.

“Part of the goofiness of the dresses was the time period of the movie. Like everything it is all a matter of your opinion,” Olivia Chuba said. “The costume designer did not design things as himself, he designed in the character of Reynolds Woodcock.”

Assistant to Head of Upper School and Dean Coordinator Lynn Miller said she enjoyed “Phantom Thread” for its costumes and the storyline.

“‘Phantom Thread’ is a period piece, and the dresses shown are of the 1950s,” Miller said. “The detailed work that goes into high-fashion dressmaking was very interesting. Also, the relationships between the three main characters, Reynolds, his sister Cyril and Reynold’s muse Alma are complicated and intriguing.”

Miller said she appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the film at the Cinema Sunday event.

“[Walch], [Olivia] Chuba and [Nick] Chuba did a wonderful job of explaining and breaking down various aspects of the costuming and the music, and how each supported the storyline,” Miller said. “[It was] fascinating to learn that the composer of this film was the lead guitarist for Radiohead.”