Friday, September 4

"Coco & Igor" picking up the thread left by "Coco avant Chanel"

Last night I had a mini movie marathon at the cinema, as I decided to see both recent films about Coco Chanel back to back (in chronological order of subject matter, conveniently). I really liked Coco avant Chanel, actually. It was somewhat sentimental, very traditional, but quite moving. I don't really understand the critics that claim that the film portrays Chanel as a product of men. Her knowing glance, sitting in the mirror staircase at the end, proved to me (as though she said) that "Yes, this is it, and this is my empire". And had she been the dreary widow of a British coal speculant, or the hobby hatter wife of an aristocrat, there would never have been those knowing, assertive glances or mirrored staircases or little, black jersey dresses.

Coco & Igor was quite different, much less a portrait and more a crystallised myth of lust and attraction's machinations over creation. I didn't like it as much; the characters seemed flat, Chanel was too calculating, Stravinsky taciturn and of little motivation (although more flatteringly portrayed than the "crazy composer" hyperbole pictured in BBCs Riot at the Rite).

I give over.

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