Oh dear! what can I say ? In my last post I quoted Bazin about reviews: “Let us say that the ideal would be to be able to help efficiently those we like and to have little influence on the fate of others. ” I am at a loss to say anything about Advanced Style, Ari Cohen’s film released this week in the UK . Suffice to say that I walked out three quarters through it, not able to bear the excruciating boredom anymore.
Repetitive, superficial, women as clothes horses, the film goes from seven old women photographed informally in the streets of New York to them being elevated to the status of celebrities. Cohen’s blog that was fun becomes a film of no interest.
I will leave this documentary alone but will only say that Cohen does what Bourne in Fabulous Fashionistas did not: reduce women to what they wear. I notice that our prominent critics, Kermode (Observer), Macnab (Independent), Bradshaw (The Guardian), Andrews (Financial Times), give the film 3 out of 5 stars. Why?
Daniel Green, (cine-vue.com) declares : “There’s not a great deal beyond the dazzling glitz and gaud”, but still gives it 3 stars. I understand that. The site is an iTunes site that needs to sell the film. But why are our broadsheets critics so uncritical? Have they never met old women who are more interesting than these exhibitionist characters? Old women who do not speak in clichés, and express a strong personality?
Undeserved praise is more damaging than a reasoned attack. Is this an example of ageism in different clothes?
For people interested in clothes as theatre :
When I complained in a workshop that Raga attended, that older women are invisible, Raga replied to me: I am not. People stop me in the street and talk to me.
One thing you will notice about British cinema of the 1940s and 1950s is that there are far more films with older casts and where the protagonists are over 40 years old.
This story about three highly resourceful women who escape to freedom is both a light hearted comedy and serious at the same time and it is a wonderful film, which succeeds in making serious anti ageist and feminist points in an entertaining and engaging way. It is never patronising but never heavy – in fact its is far more radical than movies made today;
Thank you for this. Yes I agree Alive and Kicking is far more radical than The Marigold Hotel. I have blogged about it and also on another fun film Make Mine Mink.
Would you happen to know how to get hold of an Alive and Kicking dvd?