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Diana Vreeland documentary, "The Eye Has to Travel"

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The new feature documentary on the late fashion-editing 'icon' Diana Vreeland may be of interest to some ballet lovers, as she herself was influenced by Diaghilev (she said):

Vreeland claimed to have met Diaghilev and Nijinsky, although she was infamous for stretching the truth at times, for impact. I haven't seen the film but it supposedly contains some rare Ballet Russes clips of Faun and other works. Vreeland tried to become a dancer in the 1920s, working mainly in music hall-type shows, I believe.

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Thanks, Natalia. I've been looking forward to this movie, too. By birth and upbringing Vreeland should have been a lady who lunched, but her husband did not have much of a head for business, I gather. I don't know how much ballet interest the film will have per se but I expect it'll be a lot of fun.

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I believe that the fiim may include some footage from Ann Barzel. I'm always interested in first hand accounts of Ballet Russes performances and of meetings with Diaghilev particularly when they are based in Paris. The film also covers the period where she curated exhibitions for the costume institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Didn't she write a catalogue for the exhibition Diaghilev: costumes and designs of the Ballets Russes?

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I saw the movie and was mostly disappointed. There is a trend lately for family members to make documentaries about famous family members and the results tend to be mixed. This one was made by Vreeland's granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland. This works for the movie in that she probably had easier access to the boldface names and other family members, but the view taken of Vreeland is largely uncritical, with few dissenters heard from on her tenure at the Costume Institute, for example. The director also permits herself the indulgence of a shot of her little daughter reading from one of Vreeland's old columns. Cute kid, but best to have left it for home movies. Questionable anecdotes from Vreeland go largely unquestioned. Delicate topics like family life are elided or skipped over. Vreeland's sons do suggest that she wasn't Mother of the Year, but it would be hard to guess that Reed Vreeland was very important in his wife's life and her taking up of a career from this picture. We don't even learn as much about Vreeland's professional life as we might have done. Not really a big deal, given the subject, but I'd hoped for more.

There is some footage at the beginning of the movie that looks like Barzel's.

Anyone else see it?

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Yes Dirac, I saw it this evening actually - it was shown on Swedish TV. No need for me to elaborate, you already said what I thought. Frankly, I had expected a little more, yet I got some memories from my days in London revived, but then I have seen more illuminating programs about the fashion scene in London in the sixties. So, I was a little disappointed.

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Thanks for posting, Pamela. Yes, it's too bad, an opportunity missed, I think. David Bailey was fun.

I wonder what Vreeland thought of those awful career woman getups produced by Edith Head for Kay Thompson in "Funny Face."

Natalia, did you ever see it?

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