Directed by Albert Maysles. US. 2015. PG-13. 83 minutes. Magnolia Pictures. Digital.
Sat., June 27, 2015 thru Thu., July 2, 2015
“This portrait of the nonagenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel is one of the last films by the director Albert Maysles, who died in March, at the age of eighty-nine, and he portrays her energetic and inventive activity as a mirror of his own. Apfel, a collector and a mix-and-matcher at an exalted level of visionary effervescence, is herself a sort of documentarian: she travels widely and searches curiously, intently, and creatively, from high-fashion houses and African boutiques in Harlem to dollar sales and flea markets, zeroing in on a teeming range of items and letting her emotional impulses, her instinct for beauty, and her feel for unexpected combinations take over and create order. Apfel’s travel planning resembles producing, her gathering is like filming, and her juxtapositions are akin to editing. The warm relationship between Apfel and Maysles comes through from the start, as she playfully shows off some of her treasures and addresses him on-camera throughout. Maysles endearingly reveals Apfel’s blend of blind passion and keen practicality, her unflagging enthusiasm for transmitting her knowledge to young people, and her synoptic view of fashion as living history. He also captures the jovial dynamic and mounting worries of her sixty-plus years of marriage to Carl Apfel, now a centenarian. Her sharp, unfiltered aphorisms make the movie a glittering trove of wisdom.” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)
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