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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
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Entries in fashion (21)


Pride Month Doc Corner: 'Halston'

By Glenn Dunks

Once again, The Film Experience and Doc Corner is celebrating Pride Month with a focus on documentaries that tackle LGBTIQ themes. This week is Halston, a fashion bio-doc about the famed American designer.

He was arguably the most famous out homosexual in America; feted by magazines and talk-shows, lauded in name by celebrities from coast to coast. A man of a certain time who emerged timeless; a pillar of an industry that had remained strikingly insular until his brand helped bring it to the American masses. Roy Halston Frowick left his impressionable mark on history early on, designing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic pillbox hat and translated that mark of destiny through a career that weaved down runways, across discotheques and into department stores.

His life is given an appropriately razzle-dazzle treatment in Halston from director Frédérick Tcheng. Told through the unusual narrative device of a fictional, unknown woman researching his life through video tapes, Halston is one of the more formally interesting examples of the fashion bio-doc genre and is infused with an atmosphere that is as slinky as one of his bias-cut dresses while also embracing his extravagant Manhattan lifestyle of chic glass offices, limousines and cocaine that evoke an era of lavish and queer excess.

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Beauty Break: Toronto Red Carpet

by Murtada Elfadl

The reviews and tweets are coming in fast and furious from Toronto. Let's take a break from all that and look at the many premieres from the weekend and the many beautiful people who walked the carpet.

If Beale Street Could Talk brought together (L-R) Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Barry Jenkins and Teyonah Parris.

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Doc Corner: 'McQueen'

Of all the fashion designers who have been given the biographic documentary treatment in the last decade, perhaps none feel as appropriate for the cinema than the late Lee Alexander McQueen. There have been many designers whose work is in a way cinematic – including others from 2018 alone like Guo Pei (Yellow is Forbidden) and Vivienne Westwood (Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist), although the success of those films vary – McQueen the man is such a vividly big personality, even in his quiet and introspective moments, that a film about him is naturally going to boast a more broad appeal and intense fascination.

In McQueen we witness the boy who rose from working class roots in London’s East End buying fabrics with his government dole money to working on dozens of fashion lines a year for a variety of brands and world famous fashion houses.

Seen through personal tapes and footage from his increasingly elaborate and astonishingly striking runway shows, director Ian Bonhōte and co-director Peter Ettedgui assembles with beautiful clarity the essence of not just Lee’s work, but Lee’s humanity, too.

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Top 5 Suits Cate Blanchett Wore to Promote Ocean's 8

by Murtada

Tonight’s the night! Ocean’s 8 starts playing and we will finally get the full fashion parade of Cate Blanchett’s costumes. Word is that she’s almost exclusively in suits. That wardrobe is already making the internet aflutter. But Cate has also promoted the film wearing suits to every premiere and press engagement. Her co-star Anne Hathaway said it best at the movie’s New York premiere Tuesday night:

Cate Blanchett has owned her lady suits this entire movie process up to now. She's that great of an actress. She's committed to her character. We wouldn't dare wear a suit for the premiere!"

So here are the top five suits Cate Blanchett wore promoting Ocean’s 8:

#5 - Today Show, designer unknown

This pale lavender number below is cute and all but it wins this placement because it was what Cate wore when she appeared alongside Sarah Paulson in the now viral non-interview at the Today show...

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Doc Corner: Andre Leon Talley and Jayne Mansfield Lead the Melbourne Queer Film Festival

By Glenn Dunks

Down here in Melbourne where I live, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival is gearing up for its 28th year. It's got the best line-up I have ever seen for the festival, and in particular the documentary section is full of must see titles. I know The Film Experience readers like to hear about LGBTQI cinema so I thought I'd choose three that focus on the movies and pop culture worlds to look at that will hopefully make their way to cinemas and VOD soon: The Gospel According to Andre, Mansfield 66/67 and Queerama.


Shame on me, I suppose, for putting on The Gospel According to André and expecting a breezy 90 minutes of glam connoisseur André Leon Talley dishing cutting fashion commentary in caftans and calling everybody “darling” while rattling off designer names like he’s Edina in that Pet Shop Boys song about Absolutely Fabulous. Names! Names! Names!

Talley is, after all, a mainstay of fashion documentaries since his appearances in the classics Unzipped and Catwalk from 1995 on through the likes of The September Issue, The First Monday in May, Valentino: The Last Emperor and the recent House of Z about Zac Posen. What I did not expect from Kate Novack’s documentary was a film that takes the story of one of the American fashion world’s most iconic and recognisable names as a launching pad for an exploration of race and racism through history via the POV of a gay black man.

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Doc Corner: 'House of Z'

Fashion documentaries have been going downhill ever since Unzipped. Douglas Keeve’s 1995 portrait of Isaac Mizrahi, a box office smash and critical hit, remains the pinnacle of what so many since have attempted. Like Madonna: Truth or Dare, from which it took much inspiration, that riotously funny glimpse into Mizrahi’s world full of design, famous friends, creativity and wickedly self-depreciating neurosis was a perfect storm of sorts between personality, fashion and celebrity that a film about this sort of person ought to be.  

Every year brings us several of these sorts of documentaries. Like the majority of them, Sandy Chronopoulos’ debut feature, House of Z, is easily digestible and barely raises a sweat; a work of celebrity portraiture that fans won’t regret watching, but which offers little beyond what is promised on the tin. Taking the same narrative hook as Unzipped of a talented young designer’s comeback from the precipice of total failure, House of Z is an act of personality redemption for a man whose career nearly fell apart because of his outlandishness and brattish behaviour. This makes it a humble film in many ways, one that deliberately chooses to show its subject as one appreciative of his position.

That also means that it is a humourless one, too; sapped of the fun and the outrageousness and the glamour that should be natural.I can only imagine how fun this film may have been half a decade ago.

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