Insight into the life, mind and creative heart of Master Fashion Designer Dries Van Noten is what new documentary Dries is all about. Written and directed by Rainer Holzemer, in Dries we get to witness the creation of four beautiful collections by a man who has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalisation…
I’m one of those people for whom the latest fashion is more art that I appreciate looking at than something I make particular effort to seek out to adorn myself with. I want to watch Dries for the art and also because very creative people are eternally intriguing, to me.
Starring ‘acting queen’ Natalie Portman and additional talented cast membersthat include Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt and Billy Crudup, I enjoyed taking in everything the camera focused on in director Pablo Larraín’s Jackie.
The costume and visuals in Jackie are beautiful, especially if you love the 60s aesthetic and fashions. As I watched the story of the former First Lady’s experience in the wake of her husband, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, I found myself feeling a little detached – both emotionally but mostly in terms of my enjoyment of the story structure. I couldn’t help but wonder about how much more I’d have enjoyed the film had it had a more traditional structure and been more than just about Jackie’s grief. My story preferences aside, Natalie Portman – of course delivered a brilliant performance and were it up to me, I’d have handed the Best Actress Academy Award to her.
I kind of see Jackie in a similar way to the way I see American Sniper (2014). By this I mean, both films as a whole are ok, but the lead actors performances are what really makes them worth watching. Back in 2014 I was completely ready to hand the best Actor Oscar to Bradley Cooper, but then I saw Eddie Redmayne’s work in The Theory Of Everything (2014)and that was that. The rightful owner absolutely got the golden statue.
There are three key reasons to see director Andrew Rossi’s documentary about the planning and organisation of 2015’s MET Gala,a.k.a. one of fashion’s most prestigious annual events. Reason one is the beautiful pieces of clothing designed by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier. If like myself you have an appreciation for the art and dedication that goes into creating extraordinarily beautiful clothing, plus you adore the sensory experience of it all, Watch The First Monday In May.
Reason number two is Anna Wintour. Who cannot be impressed by her? She’s arguably one of the most influential individuals in fashion; editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine (for the last 28 years) and the woman responsible for overseeing the planning and organisation of the MET Gala. My curiosity about Wintour isn’t just because The Devil Wears Prada (2006) is based on her. I wanted to see her operate as I did in The September Issue (2009) and reflect on all it must have taken to reach her goals and maintain her position.
As for reason number three, I’ve never enjoyed event planning. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a good time watching other people do all the work and handle all the stresses, politics and deadlines that come with it. The First Monday In May has all of that, plus it’s well-paced, edited and accompanied by fitting tension building music.
I went into this documentary expecting a sizeable chunk of it to focus on Wintour, when in fact, the person whose ideas and overall vision form the theme and content of the exhibition – plus the overall look and feel is Andrew Bolton, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Fret not however, for there’s still focus on Wintour as she goes about delegating, praising and calling out mediocre efforts where necessary.
To fashion, Anna Wintour, style, costume, MET Gala and art fans, etc. you know you have to watch. Plus there’s interesting conversation about whether fashion can really be taken seriously as art.
I’ve seen the 1961 Audrey Hepburn movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s once and I have to say that I found it somewhat sleep inducing. Nevertheless, as someone ever curious about the magic that makes brands hugely successful, the new ‘past to present’ documentary about Tiffany & Co. –Crazy About Tiffany’s appealed.
Directed by Matthew Miele and featuring the likes of Katy Couric, Jessica Biel and Jennifer Tilly, I was excited for a behind the scenes look at the brand, some of the challenges it has faced and any of the perhaps, ‘colourful’ stories that led to the company’s continued iconic status.
Truth be told, I thoroughly enjoyed the initial introductory violin music. It’s just unfortunate that said music also happens to be my favourite moment of the entire film.
The key issue I found with Crazy About Tiffany’s is that it feels more like an internal corporate video about the brand’s history/ achievements than a balanced documentary. Where’s all the talk of ethics, blood diamonds, other issues or controversies pertinent to the industry and business? All I heard was plenty of self praise and very little thorough analysis.
There was a momentary glimmer of hope when one of the talking heads used the word ‘dated’ and ‘old’ to describe their feelings about the brand. Sadly though, that thread went absolutely nowhere. Crazy About Tiffany’sis apparently fully authorised by Tiffany & Co. That therein explains the lack of balance. I’m still surprised that the brand approved the documentary considering the low quality animated graphics.
Overall, if you’re after a great, balanced documentary about Tiffany & Co., I’d have to say this isn’t it. But if you’re after something along the lines of an internal self-praising corporate video that may or may not be shown to new hires at the business, why not start here?
For those like myself who are often too curious for their own good as well as those unlike myself who are jewellery / Tiffany obsessed, see Crazy About Tiffany’s on iTunes, Vimeo On Demand… Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The first thing I noticed and immediately loved about Crimson Peak is the cinematography. Particularly the rich colours, beautiful period fashion and the use of light and shadow.
Directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak is a visual feast of a gothic romance. One that features a gifted author, Edith (Mia Wasikowska) who is a young lady faced with the choice between two potential suiters.
One of Edith’s suiters is her childhood friend Alan, (Charlie Hunnam) and the other is a dark, mysterious and mesmerising newcomer called Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston).
I’d like to think that faced with Edith’s predicament I might be wise enough to make the ‘healthiest’ choice. But considering how much I find myself mesmerised by Hiddleston’s character’s voice, words and presence, I’m thinking absolutely not.
A feast for the eyeballs is one way to describe Guillermo del Toro’s movie. I also like the beautiful romance which just happens to be a great reminder for how truly blinding love can be.
It crossed my mind that perhaps some of the ghostly special effects could have done with a little extra financial investment. But overall, I like Crimson Peak.
Lastly, what a wonderfully meaty role Jessica Chastain was blessed to play.
Watch it for the story, romance, and visual beauty. As you do that, I’ll I continue dreaming about having full access to the beautiful contents of Edith’s wardrobe.
Truth be told, Hail, Caesar! proved to be quite the bore. Regrettably I have to confess that I found the trailer far more entertaining than the movie.
The trailer is funny, filled with the glamour, colours and seemingly odd characters of 1950s Hollywood; all good things. I liked the fact that it didn’t give much away in terms of where the story was going or even who the key protagonist might be and it moved at a good pace.
Unfortunately however, a slow pace and inadequately intriguing story that never really goes anywhere are my biggest issues with Hail, Caesar! Part of the problem might be that there were too many stories trying to happen at the same time.
On the positive side, in addition to the humorous moments (the best of which you see in the trailer) what I do like aboutHail, Caesar! is the makeup, glamour and colourful attire worn by the film’s main female characters; the characters played far too briefly by Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Veronica Osorio. Had it not been for this highlights, I’m not sure I’d have made it through to the end.
Overall, I think I’d have much preferred to see only the funny moments in the movie; something like the Saturday Night Live comedy sketch format. Basically a feature length version of the scenes such as the funny moments in the trailer. Outrageous suggestion, I’m sure but I really was hoping for more from a Coen brothers written and directed movie. Needless to say, Hail, Caesar! is not my favourite film by the Coens. That title will probably always belong to the excellent No Country For Old Men (2007), a movie I continue to recommend.
For all lovers of art, especially art that comes in the shape of fashion, today’s trailer is for a documentary about 2015’s Met Ball.
Directed by Andrew Rossi, the film follows Vogue Magazine’s Editor-in Chief, Anna Wintour. She takes us along for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the planning and organisation of one of fashion’s most prestigious annual events. One that brings together the most celebrated figures in fashion, music, film and art…
I’ll be watching for all the art involved. That and the expected ups and downs that go with organising a gathering as big as the Met Gala.
First Monday In May will open at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 13, 2016.