Tag Archives: Water for Elephants

The Wearable Style of Marlena in Water for Elephants

20 Apr

Another article from our series highlighting Water for Elephants

By Open Book

This is our last week highlighting the Sara Gruen novel Water for Elephants. It’s been fun discovering various facts about the novel. The film open’s in theaters this Friday April 22nd, 2011. However, costumes (which helps to tell this story) is the last area we have yet to uncover.

Costume designer’s can be described as visual storytellers who use texture, silhouettes and color as their means of communication. As some of you know Jacqueline West  (the costume designer for Water for Elephants) not only shaped the characters personality in the film but also illustrated (for audiences) Hollywood’s influence over this period. To help us understand what may have inspired the look for  Marlena played by Reese Witherspoon, we are going to look back at the social customs, magazine articles and costume designers of the 1930’s.

Continue reading

Jacob vs. Jacob: Hidden Meaning in Water for Elephants

18 Apr

Another article in our series highlighting Water for Elephants

By:  Parisienne

Have you ever wondered if the story your reading have any hidden meaning to it?  In the book Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, there are some slight biblical themes if you look closely. The name of the character Jacob is the first clue and it’s pretty obvious. However, if we dig a little deeper, we find the story of Jacob in the King James Old Testament bares some resemblance to the story of Jacob in Water for Elephants. If you didn’t catch it the first time around, here’s a brief overview of the similarities that were recently discovered.  Continue reading

How much do you know about Water for Elephants?

16 Apr

By Open Book

As we prepare for the live red carpet event for Water for Elephants on Sunday, April 17th @ 5pE. We’d like to have a little fun. So here’s a trivia game to see how much you know about Sara Gruen’s novel, the 1930’s and the making of the film Water for Elephants.  We have put together 10 questions for you to answer. Also, over the last six weeks we have featured a (series of articles referenced in red) highlighting Water for Elephants that might be of assistance.  We would love to see how much you know, so give it a try! Good Luck~

So how well did you do? Here are the Answers to the WFE Trivia Questions. If you got five correct you are AMAZING! So give yourself a round of applause and thanks for playing along. 

1. In the novel, what year did the Benzini Brothers: Most Spectacular Show on Earth collapse?

1. Answer: 1928 pg. 77

2. Why did the Benzini Brothers circus collapse?

2. Answer: Benzini Bros. simply ran out of money and could not make the jump to the next town. Pg. 77

3. Director Francis Lawrence merged one of the lead characters in the film with another prominent character in the book. Of the three main characters Jacob, Marlena and August, who did he select, what prominent character in the book did he choose to merge (with one of the leads) and why?

3. Answer: He merged Uncle Al with August in order to empower August’s character. (Please see reference)[1]

4. What’s the first book of Kinko’s Jacob decides to pick up in the novel?

4. Answer: The Complete works of Shakespeare Pg. 81

5. What was costume designer’s Jacqueline West favorite costume of Marlena’s?

5. Answer: The black satin evening gown. (Please see reference)[1]

6. When did circus films become popular in America and why?

6. Answer: After WWI they became popular because real circuses were becoming extinct due to the depression. 

7. What famous movie star of the 1930’s inspired the look for Marlena in the film?

7. Answer: Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard & Greta Garbo (Please see reference)[1]

8. What’s the name of the elephant sanctuary where Tai comes from?

 8. Answer: Have trunk will travel. 

9. What type of clown was Emmet Kelly most famous for and why?

9. Answer: The tramp clown is what he’s best known for due to the depression.

10. In the novel, what name did Jacob see painted underneath the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth train car?

10. Answer: Christy Bros. Circus pg. 91

[1] http://filmwaterforelephants.wordpress.com/bigtop/wfe-exclusive/

[1] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/costumes-water-elephants-177153

[1] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/costumes-water-elephants-177153

The answers will be given out on: Sunday, April 17th, 2011@4pE.

Water for Elephants Premiere Live!

13 Apr

MTV.com will be streaming the live premiere event along with host Josh Horowitz.
Beginning on Sunday 4-17 @ 5pm
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s the link to the MTV Announcement

Clowning Around with Water for Elephants

13 Apr

Our ongoing article series on Water for Elephants

By Ozzie20

With Water for Elephants premier drawing closer, we thought it would be interesting to look at the rival clown competition that would have existed for a real circus during the 1930’s. But first, a brief history on clowns might be useful!

Even though he never set foot inside a circus ring, in the late 1700’s, Joseph Grimaldi was the first credited person to create the modern clown persona and look we are familiar with today. He was a pantomime clown and he spent his life developing his character. He experimented with face paint and became known for his white face with red triangles painted on his cheeks and honed his comedic timing and facial expressions so well, he was considered a master. Joseph became so famous that Charles Dickens wrote his biography. Over the next fifty years other clowns copied his look and clowns nicknamed themselves “Joeys” in his honour.[1]

The first known clown to be used in a circus appeared in 1770’s, when Philip Astley (the man credited with creating the first modern circus) hired Mr. Merryman to help entertain the crowd in between acts.[2] John Bill Rickets (The man who is credited with bringing the first modern circus to America) hired the first American born clown, John Durang, in 1795.[3] John, who was a very talented man, would eventually go on to run his own circus, joining the ranks of the first early circus owners of America.[4]

So let’s go back to the 1930’s. In the Sara Gruen novel Water for Elephants, where the fierce competition between circuses is often referred too. Money was tight, as the Great Depression had set in. Once a circus closed, others would swarm in to see what they could ravish, like birds of prey to a carcass. The Benzini Brother’s (the circus where the story takes place) greatest rival was the Ringling Bro & Barnum and Bailey Circus. So I took four well known clowns who were active in the 1930’s and worked for Ringling’s at one point in their lives and were Clown Hall of Fame inductees, to see what the Benzini Bros. clowns had to compete with.[5] Continue reading