bonnie & clyde

 ** Image from the FBI 

** Image from the FBI 

In the act of crime and its history, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are timelessly recognized figures. Leading up to their 1934 ambush in which they were both shot to death, the infamous duet had led a life of felony, believed to have committed a collection of 13 murders and burglaries. This triggered one of the wildest manhunts by the FBI (formerly Bureau of Investigation) of this period, beginning in 1933, nearly a year ahead of their death, where the issued warrant of an automobile in Illinois got the police on their tails. 

Despite representing what is a really horrific account of homicide, Bonnie and Clyde have been glamourized. Part of it can be credited to the 1967 bio-flick starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The film itself is perhaps a romantic, lighthearted adaption. With all cases of delinquency portrayed in the film, there is a goofy, slapstick comedic edge parallel to it. There's also an emphasis of a young and fiery romance between the two leading characters, which kind of gives the viewer a soft spot for two blood-drenched criminals. Funny how that can happen, hey?

But that's media for you. A similar thing happened at the time of the chase of these felons. Newspapers and elicit photographs documenting the bandits had the people on edge, but also very curious as to what was going to happen. It's a compelling story, like something you'd find in a novel or film, and to top it off, they had a love story, which added to their allure. They were celebrities, to a degree that people almost were hoping they wouldn't get caught.



So why do we, as the general audience, allow this? Why does someone's celebrity status get them a get-out-of-jail free card? How is it possible that because media in all forms allows us to get to know these celebrities that little bit more, to a point where we feel we know them enough to sympathize for them, even when they do something both illegal and immoral?

Taking this to today's matters around Harvey Weinstein, I can't help but think of the extents of Weinstein's mogul reputation protected him. Many of the victims who voiced allegations against him, have mentioned their silence or compliance to his assault being due to their own fear for the sake of their careers and futures in Hollywood. It's also worth noting the fact the volume of this scandal. Repercussions are being made now, only because of the mass of women who have come out with accusations, but when Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez solely accused Weinstein of sexual assault in 2015, it was swept under the rug, even tainting her own name instead. And while this is the most prominent example right now, this isn't the only case. As proven by Bonnie and Clyde, the media's distorted reception is a repeated offence.

Another conflict comes when the person being immoral is somebody who's done a lot or created something that you like. A lot of Weinstein's films are cult-classic favourites. Woody Allen, also carrying a scandaled history, are some of the most unique, comedy films. From a personal standpoint, I'm deeply intrigued by the story of Bonnie and Clyde and I really enjoyed the film. Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker is my current style inspiration. So how do we separate the one's role as an artist, creator or figure, from that person's morality as a person?

The point is, a person's popularity shouldn't discount any wrongdoings that they've done in the past or think that they're entitled to doing in the future.  This is important to remember, so we don't get too caught up in the whirlwinds of social media and pop culture. But be aware of how you separate someone's work from their behaviour. Look at if the two intersect and consider how they influence each other. Then make your opinion on the matter.

On a completely alternative, lighter note, (perhaps even vaguely contradictory) Bonnie and Clyde is a great film you should watch. And Faye Dunaway's style in it is everything I want this season. Here's a slideshow of her high cheekbones, great, great outfits and my current style-inspo: