Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The 2009 New Zealand International Film Festival was launched at the Regent Cinema on the evening of 6 July 2009 with R.J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue. The film takes a close look at the notorious Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the prestigious American Vogue magazine, and the nine-month process it takes to create their September issue.
Known as the fashion world’s annual bible, the September issue of Vogue is legendary. The film is shot during the production of the September 2007 issue – the biggest ever edition created to date with a whopping 840 pages including fashion, couture, beauty and 727 pages of adverts – now there’s a sales team for you!
The film crew not only followed Anna Wintour to runway shows and fashion weeks, but also to private breakfast meetings with advertisers and designers and into her office to film heated debates about finances and editorial content between herself and Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington, who modelled for Vogue in the 1960s.
The insight in to the working and personal life of Anna Wintour is fascinating. The power and influence that this one woman has on the fashion industry is astounding, and it is amusing to see some of the world’s most influential fashion designers and photographers cowering or getting flustered under her gaze. The stony, cold looks and demanding, abrupt comments had the entire audience cringing or gasping in shock. The film The Devil Wears Prada was written by a former personal assistant but Meryl Streep, as editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly, has nothing on the real life editor-in-chief of Vogue!
The film is absolutely fascinating and I think even those without an interest in fashion can appreciate the work and commitment it takes to produce the magazine – is it still classed a magazine though when it’s 840 pages? The behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s most recognised publications is amazing and will have audiences riveted the entire way through.
This is a definitely a must-see film at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, which boasts films from 22 different countries including France, Spain, Australia, the UK and some homegrown Kiwi talent.
The New Zealand International Film Festival starts on 30 July and runs until 16 August 2009 at the Regent Cinema on Worcester Street, just off Cathedral Square towards the Avon River.
View the full programme for the New Zealand International Film Festival at www.nzff.co.nz