Monday, January 26, 2009

Semiotics of the Loafer

As if to confirm and elaborate my point on Laura and formalized dress, Frost/Nixon has a key distinction between the loafer and the lace-up oxford. Yet this time, the narration must foreground the distinction self-consciously, both through the visuals (close-ups) and through exposition in the dialogue. The shock of breaking with the oxford has to be explained for the contemporary spectator as thoroughly as the film gives a schematic history of Watergate.

3 comments:

gmoke said...

There's an incident in a John O'Hara story (or novel) where a businessman looks down upon an underling as being unfit for promotion because he wears loafers.

But then who reads John O'Hara these days.

Chris Cagle said...

I do, unsurprisingly.

FilmDr said...

I was bothered by what struck me as Nixon's (and the film's) excessive emphasis on Frost's "effeminate" shoes. The loafers suggest things about the more casual 1970s world that Frost inhabited, but it also gave Nixon another way to needle Frost right before one of the interviews.