“I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.” Says Valentino Garavani in Matt Tyrnauer’s swank new documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)
The Last Emperor is a typical doumantary film on the legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani, in the wake of his exit in 2008 from the company he founded in Rome more than 45 years ago. Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, the film is an intimate, engaging and very funny fly-on-the-wall expoloration of the singular worlds of one of Italy’s richest and most famous men. The film documents the colourful and amazing closing act of Valentino’s celebrated career, narritives the story of his magical life and explores the larger themes affecting the fashion business today. As the film information shows, the film production team shoot over 250 hours of montages for 2 years, from June 2005 to July 2007,with exclusive, unprecedented access to Valentino and his entourage. Personally speaking, a good documentary should be based on enough time recording and a long-term follow process, surprised moments, changes, milestomes always appears without any preparation. Thus, documentaries can be understand be a freestyle communication between people and time.I love every minute of it. It decries this group of fashionistas perfectly, some collective terms comes out with watch it, flourishes,bustles,ostentations…Indeed, this film start with an attrative opening, Valentino preparing for his Fall 2006 show, which catches my attentions immediately, a strong sense of fashion, dramatic, luxury booms from the scene. Particularly, this feeling is stressed by the following red dressing scene. He has finished sketching a signature Valentino Red evening dress when a naked model comes into the viewing room. Moreover, it is not just a simple documentary which aims such luxury scenes,but also tells some moving stories,some beautifully tragic messages of the Valentino documentary. It is constructed by part comedy, part love story The Last Emperor was not the fashion retrospective I feared, but a timeless snapshot into the life of a master of his craft. I believe the love story part is the shining point of this documentary, it reduces the distance between normal people and fashion, like Valentino, his is a famous star, and also he is a normal man, who relays on love, happiness, motions, like all of us.
Picture me is the another documentary i watched, which is a raw and personal model diary. In comparsion with the former one about Valentino, the protagonit is not a very famous person, Sara ziff. The film tells the inner and out world of the model life, the bad aspects with the good, especially, it gives a meaningful inside look into the real world behind modelling, behind shining delicate make up, it is reality, not where the camera’s are set up in a room, and then the focus enters…this was live, where sara had to even ask casting directors if her byofriend could come in and film.
Overall, i both love of them, one for fashion itself, one for models (who express fashion). The former one has wonderful music, and informative interviews, it is a sumptuous dinner of visual effects. The latter one has attractive content, the fascination comes from the story itself of a model, but from a documenatry angle, i dislike the animation sequences during the credits, it requires a strong narrative structure and some clever editing, because of the last 30mins are little bit vapid.