Film re­view

TV3’s movie ex­pert Kate Rodger joins the glit­terati at the Met Gala – or at least she at­tends the movie that goes be­hind the scenes of this pres­ti­gious event.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - ON SCREEN -

The First Mon­day in May Star­ring An­drew Bolton, Anna Win­tour, John Gal­liano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Di­rected by An­drew Rossi.

Your spring dose of fash­ion porn is here, so pol­ish up your Prada pumps and get thee to your near­est cin­ema – The First Mon­day in May has landed! If you’re any­thing like me, early in May each year you will be glued to your de­vice as the red carpet rolls out for the Met Gala in New York. Even the Os­cars’ red carpet pales in com­par­i­son to the Met Gala, as Hol­ly­wood re­ally does em­brace the haute in haute cou­ture – where it’s all or noth­ing and some­times ei­ther will do (I’m talk­ing to you Madonna). It’s a guest list to die for. Kim, Kanye, Ken­dall; Ri­hanna, Tay­lor, Bey­once; SJP, J-Lo, J-Law. The belle of the Met Ball call­ing the shots at this su­per­bowl of fash­ion is of course Vogue Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, Anna Win­tour.

We saw how Ms Win­tour rolls in The Septem­ber Is­sue, and while she’s not as cen­tre stage here, this is still her show. She has the power to make and break – her Met Gala is not just the carpet to con­quer and the hottest ticket in town, it’s the big­gest fundraiser on the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art’s cal­en­dar. And this gar­gan­tuan evening of glam­our will raise mil­lions of dol­lars for their cof­fers. It also launches the new­est ex­hi­bi­tion for the mu­seum’s Cos­tume In­sti­tute, an ex­hi­bi­tion with the power to at­tract enor­mous num­bers of vis­i­tors. This new film takes us be­hind the scenes of their most am­bi­tious ex­hibit yet – China:

Through the Look­ing Glass.

Doc­u­men­tary-maker An­drew Rossi (who did the ex­cel­lent Page One: In­side the New York Times) starts his cam­eras rolling eight months out and with im­pres­sive ac­cess. The cre­ative process, the artist en­deav­our, the all-per­va­sive stress as the dead­line looms… Rossi cap­tures it all, re­veal­ing the scale and scope of cre­at­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of this size, all against the back­drop of the big­gest party of the sea­son.

As if he doesn’t have enough to think about, the cam­eras fol­low ex­hi­bi­tion cu­ra­tor An­drew Bolton’s ev­ery move, and he grounds this story per­fectly. The qui­etly-spo­ken Brit is that win­ning for­mula of gen­tle self-dep­re­ca­tion off­set against his clear and ob­vi­ous tal­ent – we want him to suc­ceed from the mo­ment we meet him. Work­ing along­side him is ac­claimed Chi­nese film-maker Wong Kar-Wai – to­gether they share their cre­ative vi­sion and set about mak­ing it come alive. It’s an en­rich­ing and in­spir­ing in­sight.

The film is aug­mented with some alarm­ingly en­gag­ing in­ter­views with the likes of John Gal­liano, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lager­feld, and when the Big Night fi­nally ar­rives, the cam­eras plunge us grat­i­fy­ingly amidst the fash­ion fray, in­clud­ing ac­cess in­side the ball­room it­self as the A-List glit­terati party like it’s prom night (if ev­ery­one at prom night wore Chanel, Valentino and Dior).

At a tidy 90 min­utes, this film never out­stays its wel­come. Yes, you will get your fash­ion fix with a healthy dose of celebrity, but there is much sub­stance amidst the style here and sur­pris­ingly so – in fact it’s quite a nail-biter, so book your postscreen­ing man­i­cure now.

Call­ing the shots at this su­per­bowl of fash­ion is Anna Win­tour.

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