Life According to C.A.R. – ‘I’ll Have an Order of Pret-a-Porter and Three Films About Magic Castles, Please, Waiter.’

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-30 at 10.13.17
Art & Culture
Written by Chloé Raunet

Like all discerning culture platforms, we couldn’t just share a fashion story without some extra condiments…

So what better way to celebrate the launch of Magic Castles x ‘I Am Weekender’ collab than a side serving of film recommendations?! Before we get to that though, here’s a quick run-down of the main dish. Since its inception, MC has turned to music and counterculture for inspiration. ‘T-shirt design is then informed by song lyrics, sleeve notes, album titles, secret handwritten messages and anything else that catches their eye to be reinterpreted into their designs.’ 


I was bowled over last year when brand mastermind Chris Stoker approached yours truly with an idea to do something around my first documentary, ‘I Am Weekender’. The film explores the production, impact and legacy of WIZ and Flowered Up’s 1992 cult-classic meditation on the British rave experience, which is exactly what they’ve managed to capture in this get-you-drooling five-piece ensemble. A proper collision of past and future, nested within an SS24 collection ‘inspired by the never-ending, intoxicating pursuit of digging for records in the hope of unearthing hidden treasures or ‘cheap finds’ in the most unlikely of places’. 

Swoon. No point waiting for summer, get ordering now!!! And once you’ve got that out of the way, give these a taste …

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-30 at 10.13.17


La Belle et Le Bete, 1946

Made long before the days of CGI or Disney meets Celine Dion, Jacques Costeau’s take on this classic fairytale has gotta be the film about magic castles. It really is a masterpiece, overflowing with emotion, analysis, camera trickery and good old fashioned cinematic effects. The Beast’s chateau is filled with quiet, surreal wonders. Doors open on their own, candelabras are held by moving human arms extended from the cold, stone walls and the statues are alive, with eyes that track anyone who passes. The overarching narrative might be familiar but with Costeau’s poetics and genius, fresh outta the embers of WWII, this film permeates on a deeper psychological level.



Jacques Costeau’s take on this classic fairytale has gotta be the film about magic castles.


The Florida Project, 2017

The Magic Castle motel in Sean Baker’s sophomore feature sits within eyeshot of Disney World, but it couldn’t be further from the Magic Kingdom. Lodged along a non-descript stretch of strip-malls, gun shops and fast food joints, it’s the kind of place you zoom past en route to somewhere better. But like countless other North American inns, the residents here are semi-permanent, trapped in the repetitive grind of the bread line. Our window into their lives is via the kids, whose daily adventures transcend circumstance and fill the space with laughter and light. Through rich characters, stand-out performances and bold, bright art direction, Baker manages to circumnavigate any kitchen sink tropes. There’s no romanticising but it sure ain’t dour. The capricious intelligence of lead sprog Moonee, played by the talented Brooklynn Prince, ricochets off Willian Defoe’s touching caretaker. His job is to hold down the fort and yet he can’t quite detach himself from the plight of his trouble prone guests. This tender flick culminates in a moment of magic-realism and is definitely worth a watch.


The Juniper Tree, 1990

Technically there’s no castle in this selection, but it is set in the era and definitely filled with magic, plus it stars a teenage Bjork. How could I not include it?! Another loose take on a classic fairytale, The Juniper Tree is filmed in Iceland. It centres on two sisters whose mother was burned at the stake for performing witchcraft. They’ve gone to live with a widowed man, the eldest, Katla, plans to marry, and his young son who hates her. Despite ongoing dangers, both girls uphold the matriarchal tradition of sorcery. Whilst Katla casts secret spells and performs rituals to turn marital woes in her favour, Bjork’s character Margit is the one displaying a deeper gift of second sight. Made in 1986 by Nietzchka Keene, this film is less fantasy and more academic – full of contemporary critique and analysis. It’s still beautiful, mesmerising and available to stream on BFI Player. Go forth and discover (if you don’t already know it).


Check the Magic Castles collaboration collection here.

See the film in Nottingam on 1st May with a Q&A with Raunet. Details