Friday, July 22, 2005

Chocolate Dreams for Knitters

Has anyone else seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yet?

Maybe those of you who don't have children under 10 weren't in line on opening day.

I loved the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; it was the first movie I saw in a theatre. I thought this one was pretty good. But I almost couldn't hear the dialogue, because I was so distracted by . . .

. . . all the knitted and crocheted stuff. That's Charlie (above), in the fairisle pullover he wears throughout his visit to the chocolate factory. The colors are a little harsh, the gauge is a little coarse--I have to assume this has something to do with making the design read on film. But that's just the beginning:

Here's the (usually) radiant Helena Bonham-Carter as Charlie's overworked, exhausted mother:

Didn't Rowan have a Chunky Tweed in that color? (The fingerless gloves, I assume, are store-bought.)

And then there's Augustus Gloop and his mother:

Haven't I seen the red one in a book somewhere? (I checked Folk Vests, but it's not in there.) It's a puzzling choice: Augustus is German; even if the vest has to be red, why not some more traditional traveling-stitch pattern?

The scenes inside Charlie's home are virtually overwhelming. The four grandparents are all in the bed, so in the same shot we can see Charlie's pullover,

Grandma Josephine's crocheted shawl,

Grandpa George's scarf, Grandma Georgina's shawl and hat, and (what you can't see here) a knitted blanket.

These photos are right off the official website. I wish I could get a better shot of Grandpa George's scarf. It's the same pattern as the blanket; both appear to be knit in garter-stitch triangles assembled into quilt-type blocks. Or possibly knit in intarsia. I don't envy the knitter, either way, but I sure would like a closer look.

This isn't all: when Charlie and the other kids first approach the factory gates, Grandpa Joe is wearing a knit scarf that I'd swear is Kureyon in color 149 (you know, all greys and toffee-browns); the first time we see Violet, she's wearing a (pretty dreadful) granny-square vest.

Anybody got any connections to the costumer for this job? The publicity interviews seem to focus on Johnny Depp's costumes. (Who cares about that?) Any insights, anyone?


doloreshaze said...

No connection, but here's her bio:

Franklin said...

I noticed when I saw the film that the actress who plays Grandma Georgina seems to be wearing a hat that I swear she also wore in an episode of the TV series "The Vicar of Dibley." Most of her scenes were parish council meetings. In almost all of them she crocheted what I remember was an endless series of round hats - and she really did seem to be working the hook. I wondered if she made her own hat for the film.