Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Under 250: The September Issue

Within minutes of pushing play, I began to wish I'd gone out of my way to see The September Issue in its theatrical run.  The reason?  It should have had a place on the list of my favorite documentaries of the aughts.  The September Issue is a riveting glance behind the scenes at American Vogue.  As the editors, stylists, photographers, and designers collaborate tirelessly on each piece of the mammoth titular issue, you begin to see the true extent of their genius, and the push pull struggle between artistry and commerce that goes into the creation of every glossy fashion rag on the newstand.  As we watch Anna Wintour shift uncomfortably or observe Grace Coddington (who truly earns her time in the spotlight as a driving force behind the magazine, you'll fall in love with her) shrug off another small disappointment, we are brought into their world.  Director R.J. Cutler knows how to focus a chaos of clashing personalities and big budget ideals and pin down a narrative that effectively transforms the seemingly superficial into something dense with meaning.  Wintour sits as a high priestess; a curator responsible for the production and perpetuation of a luxurious dream. As the days are counted down, the tensions are palpable and the results are as surprisingly engrossing as the fashion industry itself. When it was all said and done, I can honestly say I once again wanted to be Anna Wintour.  Or, at least, Grace.  

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