|Index||9 reviews in total|
I saw this film at the Stockholm Film festival. Before watching I read
some reviews on other websites and found criticisms for the lack of
depth and how much you really get to know the man. Well I was
pleasantly surprised. You don't get to know his childhood story and how
he became such an icon, but what you do get is a glimpse into his world
and some of his philosophies. I actually preferred this rather than
knowing in what year he did this or why he did that. He has a
tremendous grip on life and there is a good chance you will walk away
after watching this film and reflect on some of his insights.
The shots are interesting and the pace of the movie is excellent. I was not bored. The only disappointing thing was how abruptly the movie finished.
Overall very good though.
I was very excited to see this documentary. As far as I know, not too
many films has been made about Karl Lagerfeld. But I must say that I
was disappointed upon seeing this film. Everything about Lagerfeld is
interesting and he has a lot to say, but this documentary just won't
give it to you. It's more like somebody has followed him around
shooting bits and pieces. Presented in a Your-buddy-filming-a-party
kind of style, very sad unfortunately. It is very poorly shot. I got
seasick in the theater. Research is lacking too.
So if you are a big Lagerfeld fan, of course you will want to see it anyway. But my guess is that you will be, like me, still waiting for someone to make a real documentary about him. //Kenneth,
I'm surprised at the mixed reviews here, I felt this intimate portrait
was really irresistible. felt Karl was irresistible. There's more to
his story than you get here, certainly. It's part of a very engaging
puzzle. I agree with the reviewer who said that somehow KLs work
doesn't seem to appear dated in a way that a lot of YSL does, from even
before the 80s. All of KL's famous bitchiness about YSL is completely
repaid by Pierre Berger anwyay. . . it comes with the territory. As
Morton Feldman once said "People say it's not a contest but they're
wrong, it IS a contest and Wagner won, Brahms lost." Only in this
context . . . we witness an instance in which the truth of Feldman's
simplification is rendered more ambiguous. Anyway, I look forward to
seeing this movie again.
I watched this again. This time I realized as a film it's not very strong; it's pretty sloppy in fact. Some of the montages with music I just fast forwarded through this time. And I don't know where I got any sense of YSL having anything to do with anything in this movie. There is paydirt here though, Lagerfeld, who clearly is never taken aback by any question anybody might likely think to ask. In fact in every instance we discover that whatever you might ask him, Lagerfeld has thought through whatever it is and he he rattles forth with the answer getting it out just about as quickly as humanly possible. He's extremely funny and quite adorable. Actually this time I noticed that some of the dresses didn't really float my boat, while some did. My experience was, then, rather different the 2nd time around. I've little doubt I'll watch it again one day.
Love the feeling for being an insider, follow the camera I am like there in Karl's life, what things he loves in life, how much he loves reading, how hard he works, reads, thinks, creates almost in any corner in his living, you are like going with him to different cities, love his passion in making, in life, you can truly understand his solitary life is a gift and love the ease he has in his moves yet profoundly...though the film is poorly made and I wondering why Karl Lagerfeld would give Rodolphe the job to do his documentary, since there are tons of talents could do much better than this one, but,on the other hand, as you get to know Karl for real...it is not hard to know why, I guess he is a very real and easy person, he might take this kind of depth of the film fine, you would still know he had a lot to say in life and he is not hiding any words from you if you just watch with a sensitive eyes, and an open mind.
I really enjoyed Lagerfeld Confidential. I actually found it quite
riveting. I enjoyed the stream of consciousness-like feel and I really
enjoyed Lagerfeld's dry, insightful and light humour. The nameless
people who drifted throughout added to the dream-like quality and you
had to guess who they were or what relationship they had (or not) to
I may be completely wrong, but reviews which panned this because they said it is not revealing at all, have missed the point. I get the feeling that Lagerfeld is exactly as he is portrayed here. I have met people similar to him in my life and that's how they are. Even though Lagerfeld had say over the final product, I still think this would be quite close to how he is in life. He is very self contained. I thought overall it was intriguing.
I found Lagerfeld's childhood story and how he internalized his mother's reaction to be very sad. .
Lagerfeld made some very profound comments about life towards the end which I found surprising and quite fascinating. I think the title says it all. Lagerfeld said he did not want to be a reality in anyone's lives. He wants to be like an apparition. He thinks solitude is a victory. I think that's the theme of this movie and it came through very clearly. The fact that it wasn't the typical doc is what makes even more interesting.
Early in this film, Karl Lagerfeld hides from the camera behind a
magazine as he informs us he does not want to be photographed without
his sunglasses on. A later shot catches the legendary designer through
a window 'sans specs' and it feels like the filmmaker has captured him
in a rare vulnerable moment. This is but one indication of the kid
gloves used by the director in this mildly interesting borderline puff
piece of a portrait documentary. Much of the film features the back of
Lagerfeld's head as the camera is lead about by his ubiquitous silver
pony tail down catwalks, into town cars, up private jet ramps, and
behind photo shoots. Often it feels like the POV of a typical fashion
industry fawning lackey nipping at the master's heels. Do not expect
deep insights from the minions in his sphere, as Lagerfeld's guarded
commentary (in french) is the only real voice in the film beyond the
soft-ball questions lobbed in by the off-screen director. It seems
clear that access to the subject was at risk and any offense was to be
avoided. One can easily imagine the editor considering how every cut
would be received by Lagerfeld when the movie would first be screened
by its' 'star.'
Relatively little of the designer's work is featured here and we are left with more sense of the man's personal style than his contributions to the fashion world. The few photographs of his life included are presented without chronology or context and are concentrated in comparatively concise sequences. Too much screen time is spent lingering on the gorgeous male models consistently spinning in his orbit.
Not a bad film by any means, but risk-free and superficial. The closest we get to real incite on the fashion icon is when he references his mother who it would seem was one interesting gal. I would really like to have heard from others who know the man (collaborators, rivals, critics, family, etc) though I'm certain many live in fear of him. Does the man have a temper? He seems the type but the viewer gets no indication of any personality flaws, quirks, fears, weaknesses and consequently, real depth of character.
Certain people become quite unknown despite their fame or work and Karl
Lagerfeld is one of them. He is perhaps one of the greatest designers
of modern times, adored utterly and is something of an enigma. I was
interested in seeing this for those reasons and the fact that someone
of his standing would provide an interesting insight.
I was however, very disappointed and felt there was less insight more just following. Lagerfeld the 'designer/celebrity' is barely away from the screen concealed behind his dark glasses. When he does sit for an interview he is short and sweet with his answers barely enlightening anyone. As interesting as it is seeing him work and occasionally play there is little insight into what drives him or thrills him. Another vast problem the film has is the lack of explanation of what we are seeing or indeed who we are seeing. Events occur, fashion shows, meetings, photo shoots, all self explanatory, but it would be nice to know exact details. Likewise we meet many people and you are never informed who they are, which is very frustrating. Of course the film is about Lagerfeld, but if other characters in this world are to be seen, we should know who they are.
Lagerfeld clearly loves what he does and works immensely hard and that is clear to see, but we never really see what I feel is the real Lagerfeld, only once, where he has no glasses on and sits at a desk drawing a dress, did I feel that I glimpsed Lagerfeld who isn't on display. I found it very differcult not to compare this to another recent film that looked at another adored desingers Valentino. In Valentino: The Last Emperor, we are treated to an amazing insight into someones life, one that is very similar to Lagerfeld, but we get to see the real Valentino, passion, stress, humour and love. With that we have a fascinating and vibrant film that makes us understand who this person is. In Lagerfeld Confidential there is none of that and we are left bored and uninterested with what we see, which is a huge shame as surely beneath those glasses there is an amazing life and a fascinating person.
More of my reviews at my site iheartfilm.weebly.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lagerfeld confidential is the title of this documentary, and I mused on
its overt reference to, well, L.A. Confidential: can it be that fashion
is the regime where a new noir sensibility can be glanced at, or
through? It sounds ridiculous, yet there is a precise point I want to
Let's take wikipedia's definition of the genre: "Stylish crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation." The first part may sound campy, though the second part makes what we witness on the screen really fall in the category, albeit with a twist. Lagerfeld does not back off from questions that seem personal, or that deliver his vision, a word on which he emphasizes and repeats some times. Some reviewers were mesmerized by that vision, and up to a certain point, myself included, it is only that Lagerfeld is permitted, given his position, to "be" mesmerizing. He does not have competition, and this is something I will return to. He corrects the interviewer/director when he goes into trying to ask elaborately, with detours a simple question about his homosexuality, and when did he first feel it. This is charming and straightforward. Later, when he says that he is no more a practitioner of sex,he reprimands the director for graphically rephrasing his avowal. That is well-said and shows prestance. It can also be completely artificial, not at all spontaneous, or truly confessional, as in the beginning when, splendidly, the director calls him in a friendly manner Karl (that is the first word we hear in the film), and he is everyday enough as not to respond immediately; and although we can sense it, and because we can sense it the magic augments, instead of diminishing. He really cannot be someone that counts on being accepted in terms of reality, a word he uses twice when discussing how close one can get to another person, and, the second time, when he adds that he wants to be someone glimpsed at, the film appropriately ends, leaving us with a whiff of something we barely scented, although we would like a full bite! But, even if it is completely premeditated as an endeavor of a film, it should be as it is.
Back to the film noir question: we see a lot of gorgeous interiors, models, jets, the easiness of transcontinental flights as if with a cab, food, attention, professional level or not, photos of his childhood, youth and early middle age,footage of his first collection for Chanel, all seething with elegance, aloofness, power, hypocrisy, money, insights and what you will, as befits a film noir attitude and atmosphere. OK, but is there something more than atmosphere? So, what are the two main characters featuring in a film noir? The femme fatale, of course, and the powerful man the hero, or anti-hero, confronts, in order to save and take her, usually shooting the powerful kingpin in the end. Is it not, to put it quickly, that Lagerfeld is the two, at the same time? And the femme fatale (although we just get a glimpse, in photo, of his signature fan), and a Caesar (as he was once termed). And yes, his own man, that is one we don't get through his art, how can it be that he assumes such more than grande dame airs without being effeminate or ridiculous, but steely, unaffected. Perhaps it is what he says, seriously and honestly, I think, that he is hardworking, but not serious.
It is only now that a film, or documentary, like this could be made. He has no antagonism, that is, to put it bluntly, YSL is dead. His oracular-casual manner would not be possible, or have the same empowering effect, were his once rival alive. Having once read YSL's biography, where Lagerfeld's scathing, jealous remarks were printed, thus showing, well, simply, a humane (and as it goes on such occasions and personalities, unfortunate)portrayal,it makes the film's transparency somewhat one-sided, even for the complexities of surface effects. I don't pass judgement. I would even say that, having seen the footage of his first Chanel collection, I was amazed at how not at all dated and how elegant his work still is. I cannot say that for most of YSL's 80's collections, that are bizarrely dated and inspired at the same time. Hence, some of the bitterness may not seem outreached, even though I cannot, on the other hand, sympathize with his judgement on his fellow worker. But perhaps it is just this, that they were not just workers, one does not simply works for fashion, as Lagerfeld states matter-of-fact at some point, but being visionary, you don't disavow rivalry. That may seem trivial, yet I think is crucial foregrounding, for we are not dealing with, simply (whatever this means), film, or documentation, or someone's portrait, but with something that in a way involves some other aspects of history, simultaneous or earlier, in order to appreciate what, in the end, escapes itself: no, Lagerfeld seems to say constantly, forget your preconceptions, there is nothing but surface here, and, the hard thing is, surface is a deadly serious matter: take it or leave it! But in order to do this, history cannot just be an earlier photo of oneself, unless it is like shots of a handsome youth, with a gratuitous edge, early one morning.
Karl Lagerfeld is such a fascinating individual that this film could have been better with more insight from those around him. Gaining an outside perspective allows one to fully understand the subject. Lagerfeld's personal philosophy and observations about life are so entertaining and mesmerizing. Fortunately, we do not witness a personal, intimate, sexual aspect and we really do not need to see that part of his life. It's really none of our business as voyeurs into his existence. He is an artist and those who purvey this fashion career need distance and patience. Lagerfeld has shown the practice of this artistry is a genuine lifelong obsession for the legends in their field.
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