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Juan Carlos Hernández
A story of friendship, a retrospective, and a look at haute couture as business: we watch Valentino Garavani (1932- ) and partner Giancarlo Giammetti from preparation for the 2006 Spring/Summer Collection in Paris to a July 2007 retrospective of Valentino's 45-year career, which included dressing Jacqueline Kennedy. The film documents a year of work, shows, business changes, and decisions. We follow a creation from sketch to runway: he's always in pursuit of beauty. We're in Paris, Rome, and Venice. He receives the French Legion of Honor medal; his acceptance speech brings tears. Reporters ask when he'll retire. Is the Roman retrospective his career's finale? Cue Puccini. Written by
As told to Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment (May 6, 2009), Director Matt Tyrnauer recounted that the film almost never made it to a commercial release. Both Giancarlo and Valentino hated the film on first viewing during a private screening in London and "were completely in shock". Although Tyrnauer had final cut, it took him over five months of negotiations before finally showing the film at the Venice film festival. At Venice the entire audience stood and gave a standing ovation to Valentino after the screening and Valentino apparently now loves the film. See more »
In the closing credits, the archival footage from ZIEGFELD GIRL is credited as a "Warner Brothers" movie. It was an MGM movie but is released on home video by Warner Home Video. See more »
Well, we don't want to have nasty rails do we?
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A leisurely style and a clear view of glorious gorgeous clothes and the true Dolce Vita lifestyle are well on show here is this definite and definitive documentary about legendary haute couturier Valentino. In an era of documentaries about anyone, the subject matter here is a standout because of the luxury fashion topic, the Italian man his Mediterranean life and lifestyle and of course incredible clothes. However, again, my serious complaint is about the terrible hand held photography... sloppy camera handling and out of focus moments. A cameraman who behaves like a deranged one legged stalker hopping about, behind shoulders, photographing blank backs and lurching around in order to capture a group working on a model as she dresses basically gets in the way of his own film. GET A TRIPOD! Apart from the wobble stalker cam, we are treated to sensational fashion show runs in awesome settings with breathtaking clothes and settings that add to the emotion. Valentino's relationship with partner Ginacarlo is lovingly but slightly shown, and has special poignancy in scrapbook photos and TV edits. Overall it is a gorgeous film, better than The September Issue and even has some of the same fringe dwellers. The realization that now in the new century his designs and life is just another corporate transfer for heartless profit is a well exposed moment. Beautiful is a word used a lot, and so suits this film. Bummer about the lousy camera-work.
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