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Glasses culture

Cannes: glasses that make movies

Covid certainly complicated the last Cannes Film Festival, but the annual event is coming around again, held from July 6th to 17th this year. To mark the occasion, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the links that exist between eyewear and the big screen. Read on to find out more about some of the designs that have a proven track record in film.

Whether it’s on movie posters (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Blues Brothers, The Professional, Top Gun) or on screen, eyewear has an important part to play in films, giving the heroes and heroines an air of mystery or a certain special charm, if not being used to turn them into instant “baddies”.

Spectacles can give Woody Allen an intellectual look. While in the case of Lolita, wearing heart-shaped sunglasses had a seductive effect.

Dark glasses are ideal accessories for bank robbers and undercover policemen alike. They can even have super powers – the magical sunglasses from John Carpenter’s film They Live proved that looks really can be deceiving, showing the wearer the reality of things as they really exist. In honor of the Cannes Film Festival, let’s take a look at some noteworthy frames to have featured in films.

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Ray-Ban, the real blockbuster

The award for most popular eyewear in film has to go to Ray-Ban. Firstly, on account of the Wayfarer, as modelled by the charismatic Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.

The title character played by Leo proved the sunglasses work just as well with a suit as they do on the beach. They can also look rock & roll, as demonstrated by the Blues Brothers in the movie of the same name, not forgetting Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

But Ray-Ban has brought other looks to the big screen, including the Predator (Men in Black), the Shooter (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Big Lebowski), the Aviator (Apocalypse Now, Top Gun, Serpico, Those Who Wish Me Dead) and The Vagabond (Thelma and Louise). One of the most sought-after, not to mention most stylish actresses in Hollywood right now, Jessica Chastain notably wore Ray-Ban Aviators in Zero Dark Thirty.

Ray-Ban also did extraordinarily well to have the Clubmaster feature in Reservoir Dogs. However, two other legendary eyewear brands in the shape of Oliver Peoples (American Psycho, The Old Guard, Bad Teacher, Mr and Mrs Smith) and Persol (Divorce Italian Style, The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s Thirteen, The Aviator, Lord of War) also deserve to be mentioned here for all the screen time they enjoy.

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© Al Pacino dans Donnie et Brasco

Insider secrets – the names to know

Sometimes, film stylists or actors choose to focus on specialist, little-known brands. Take the Selima Optique glasses that Ryan Gosling wore in Drive, for instance. It was the actor himself who wanted to wear shades from this brand that he loved. The film was a phenomenal success and those Money 2 frames took Selima to the next level.

For the initiated, other labels to look out for in movies include Sol-Amor on Belmondo in Breathless, Cazal on Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco, American Optical on De Niro in Taxi Driver, Gargoyles on Schwarzenegger in Terminator, Shuron on Gyllenhaal in Night Call and Oliver Goldsmith on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Some actors will even go as far as wearing rare vintage frames, as was the case for Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Adrian Brody in The Darjeeling Limited.

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© Dakota Johnson dans A Bigger Splash

Luxury eyewear, dressing to impress your audience

Luxury brands are a popular choice in the movie world. Not only do actors like to wear famous names when taking their turn on the red carpet, but they often remain loyal to them on screen as well.

James Bond, for example, is famous for his ingenious gadgets, as well as his sense of style – right down to his accessories. Daniel Craig who plays him often wears Tom Ford, specifically in Skyfall, Quantum of Solace and Spectre.

It’s a popular choice for many stars, although Jean Dujardin’s secret agent in the OSS 117 film franchise actually favors Dior. For more Dior, see Charlize Theron in Young Adult, Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson in A Bigger Splash, and Clive Owen in Duplicity. And finally, with starring roles alongside Michael Douglas in Wall Street, Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems and Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill, who could forget Cartier?

Written by Eleanor Fullalove