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Cannes Film Festival: 10 Movie Hairstyles That Left Their Mark On Pop Culture

May 18th 2017
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A hairstyle seen in the cinema can influence entire generations. To mark the opening of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, FAB has gone through the archives to select those that still influence current trends, and which can be found on social networks.

La Dolce Vita

By Federico Fellini. 1960 Palme d’Or.

La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita

The film: This poster is misleading: you only see Anita Ekberg in it, while the star only appears for 20 minutes of the film. However, her role changed the Seventh Art, as she was the first “big-breasted blonde” in European cinema.

The most iconic scene is of course the non-kiss at the Trevi fountain, where Anita Ekberg’s blonde cascading hair is the perfect antithesis to Marcello Mastroianni’s perfectly combed hairstyle. And when she puts a kitten on her head, the metaphor of the wild woman and the reasonable man becomes clear.

And in pop culture: The scene followed the actress throughout her life. As for the Trevi fountain, it is a place associated with absolute glamour, besides which, Fendi celebrated its 90th anniversary there in 2016.

Without Anita Ekberg, it is uncertain as to whether the fountain would draw as many tourists every year.

And her locks remain an inspiration, with her photo featured on the mood-board of Rod Ortega, who was Blake Lively’s hairstylist for the last Golden Globes.

L’Avventura

By Michelangelo Antonioni. 1960 Jury Prize.

L’Avventura
L’Avventura

The film: This strange thriller is the first opus in a triptych featuring Monica Vitti. Her hairstyle is a subtle balance between the rigidity of a bouffant style, which was a signature 1950s’ cut (think of Betty Draper in “Mad Men”) and the sensuality of the wind as it tousles her hair, giving her an inimitable look. The film changed the very face of Italian beauty, and made for a freer form of femininity.

In pop culture: Monica Vitti has become a “hair inspiration” with a chameleon side. The actress has tried everything, from a fringe through to going brunette.

She is still one of the most cited influences in the world.

Her “lob” – or long bob – was deemed the ultimate inspiration for summer 2014 by Vogue US.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

By Jacques Demy. 1964 Palme d’Or.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

The film: This film propelled Catherine Deneuve to international stardom. As in all Jacques Demy’s movies, the pastel colors conceal darker truths. The youthful appearance of Deneuve is accentuated by the babydoll pink blush she wears as well as the ribbons on the top of the head, which hold a very tame half-ponytail in place. She sported this blonde hair in a very childish manner, which would become her signature style throughout this decade.

And in pop culture:La La Land”, by Damien Chazelle would never have existed without the film, with its color palette, dresses and atmosphere pervading it.

On the other hand, Emma Stone’s hair has nothing to do with that of Catherine Deneuve. Which doesn’t mean that her hairstyle does not still resonate today: the blogger Louise Ebel, aka Miss Pandora, devoted a whole photo series to it in 2015, which was very successful.

Blow-up

By Michelangelo Antonioni. 1967 Festival Grand Prix.

Blow-up
Blow-Up

The film: A good bit of the action is set in London in the Sixties, in the studio of a fashion photographer. The model Veruschka makes only a short appearance in it, but it is her that can be seen on different versions of the poster, which have become cult pieces. Her locks are the very essence of that decade’s hairstyles – golden blonde with an inimitable texture, lots of volume, thick, glossy and crimped – evoking a wild sensuality, along the same lines as Brigitte Bardot in “And God Created Woman” and “Contempt”. It should be noted that the film is a fruitful resource for fans of Sixties cuts. And Jane Birkin is also in it!

And in pop culture: Veruschka remains a lasting inspiration for wild hairstyles. An exhibition about the film was held at the end of 2014 in Austria and Germany.

In 2015, the British make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury dedicated a collection to it, called Veruschka.

Paris, Texas

By Wim Wenders. 1984 Palme d’Or.

Paris, Texas
Paris Texas

The film: Nastassja Kinski takes on the role of Jane Hendersen and, on the poster, her blonde hair forms a halo that both illuminates and clashes with a peep-show room that is decorated entirely in pink. Her dyed blonde hair, which is a little bit off, is carefully styled so as to stick to her character while becoming an object of fetishism, like her whole personality.

And in pop culture: Her entire look has lasted through recent generations, with many tributes having been made to it. And her hairstyle has even become an example of failed yet successful dyeing, as described by Marie Claire US.

The English journal Glasshouse even cites this hairstyle as one of the reasons for the success of the film.

Wild At Heart

By David Lynch. 1990 Palme d’Or.

Wild At Heart
Wild At Heart

The film: Laura Dern, one of David Lynch’s muses, plays Lula, the lover of Sailor (Nicolas Cage). Her look – bleached blonde hair, with carmine red lips – recurs throughout Lynch’s work, with this archetype found in other films by the director, including “Mulholland Drive”. Highly sexual, she also has permed hair in it, like Madonna in “Desperately Seeking Susan”, which was released five years earlier. The film see-saws between references to a retro-glamour style and 1990s’ fashion.

In pop culture: Is it because the film is too recent? Is it that its critical reception was mixed? Or that its content is too erotic? Laura Dern’s locks have not been emulated, despite being dazzling in it. However, the actress’s recent success in Big Little Lies, the Jean-Marc Vallée series produced by HBO, could result in this aesthetic jewel being rediscovered once again.

Pulp Fiction

By Quentin Tarantino. 1994 Palme d’Or.

 Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction

The film: Quentin Tarantino loves recycling the history of cinema, with his films standing as an encyclopedia on the genre. The character of Mia Wallace, as played by Uma Thurman, wears a black wig. The movie’s costume designer told Dazed that the director wanted her to look like a silent film heroine. Indeed, her short bob is a variation of a popular 1920s’ cut that was popularized by Louise Brooks in the film “Loulou” (“Pandora’s Box”).

And in pop culture: Google “Mia Wallace wig” and you will come across a substantial number of costumes. Her beauty look was also the subject of a collection by the brand Urban Decay in 2014. And there are tutorials on YouTube.

The Fifth Element

By Luc Besson, nominated in 1997. (Ok, so the film did not win any awards, but Milla Jovovich’s appearance on the red carpet left such a mark on the history of the festival that it has been added here.)

The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element

The film: This modern work surely has the most striking hairstyles in it. Leeloo’s is the most famous. Milla Jovovich told Into The Gloss website that Luc Besson had wanted it to look like “a flame”. Her colorist initially wanted to have the roots blonde in it, but with the shoot lasting for several months, the dyes eventually damaged her hair. During a bleaching session, it fell out by the handful. She thus finished certain scenes with an orange wig on. The actress added that she would have liked to keep this coloring, but that there were people on the street who crossed over when they came across her!

And in pop culture: It is a cornerstone of Millennials’ beauty culture. There are dozens of beauty tutorials and hairstyles about it on YouTube.

All About My Mother

By Pedro Almodovar. 1999 Best Director Award.

All About My Mother
All About My Mother

The film: Pedro Almodóvar is a regular on La Croisette Boulevard in Cannes. He is even chairing the jury this year. However, many of his works have been selected over the years. And hairstyles have always featured highly Penélope Cruz donning a blonde wig in “Broken Embraces”, her Bardot-esque bun in “Volver”, Javier Bardem’s wig in “Live Flesh” –  there are a multitude of hair moments. In “All About My Mother”, Marisa Paredes sports a peroxide blonde cut. She plays an aging actress who goes on stage every night. It is a retro hairstyle, invoking the genealogy of the cinema while being reminiscent of Bette Davis in “All About Eve”, (for this role, the latter actress also won an award in Cannes in 1951). Almodóvar is a colorist: he is meticulous with his color palette, like nobody else. The yellow of the hair clashes with the red of the wall.

And in pop culture: The characters are often “pinned” on Pinterest, with Penélope Cruz leading the way. However, his female characters are often cited as a whole, with the New York Times referring to his “Cinema of Women”.

No one person stands out above the rest. Moreover, the entire cast of “Volver” was collectively given the Cannes award for Best Actress in 2006.

Blue Is The Warmest Color

By Abdelatif Kechiche. 2013 Palme d’Or.

Blue Is The Warmest Color
Blue Is The Warmest Colour

The film: Hairstyles play a central role in this love story. However, it is the color that catches Adele’s eye. She falls irresistibly in love with “this blue-haired girl” whose name she doesn’t know after passing her in the street. Her hair is “the part that makes the whole”, that which defines her at first, even before we find out who she is.

And in pop culture: We did not find a tutorial for looking like Léa Seydoux in the film, whose ultra-realistic aesthetics do not really lend themselves to a glamorous look. However, it is the hair color that left its mark on the year, according to “Vanity Fair”. On the other hand, this style turned Léa Seydoux into a beauty icon while ensuring she would be perceived as a chameleon.