merges or maps the span of historical time over itself (a palimpsest).
A primary example of this assault on 50s Transition culture is the aptly named Martian Girl played by Lisa Marie (seen in the above image). Her swaying, robotic walking style, her absurd hair style (a greatly exaggerated B-52), and her eye-catching pointed breasts are all digs on the visual culture of the 1950s Transition. She is at once a clone of the era and a play on the sex symbol of the era: Marilyn Monroe (minus the hair).
Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Much of the film's fashion aesthetics draw upon the transitional era, almost to comedic effect, sometimes by exaggeration and sometimes by simply cloning things that already existed. Some of this is deliberate. Annette Bening, for example, modeled her performance as Barbara Land on Ann Margret from Viva Las Vegas. The resemblance is clear. This shouldn't surprise us, of course, because the mish mash was intended by the writers and Burton himself, who imagined Mars Attacks! as an homage to 50s scifi flicks, with a heavy dose of mockery. Whether they intended to critique the culture of the 50s Transition is hard to say. I like to think this was an unintended consequence of transplanting a cultural period into a different cinematic paradigm. Rather than stare with nostalgic eyes at a bygone era, we are compelled to think about what made the 50s Transition fascinating and thankfully dead at the same time.
I could probably say more about this topic, but I won't. That would require tracing all the ways Mars Attacks! explores 50s SF and the 50s Transition period (as mockery, parody, or direct homage). Maybe for another time!
*The 1953 adaptation of War of the Worlds was nominated for three Academy Awards and has since been included in the Library of Congress catalogue.