Saturday, September 19, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor

From the 2008 Venice Film Festival this documentary that was a much unexpected surprise as it’s highly entertaining even when you do not care that much about high fashion and haute couture. The doc tells a little about the life of Valentino, something about what lead him to retire, shows his last collection in Paris, and the 45 years in business anniversary celebration in Rome. But most of all shows a puzzling and very interesting relationship between Valentino and his partner for 45 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Exactly the last comment is what got me hook with this documentary as is a truly amazing portrait of a gay couple, which after so many years can still show so much caring for each other.

But have to admit that I also enjoyed watching the celebrities (from Jackie to Elizabeth Taylor, to Elton John, and actors in the Paris home celebration for being honored by the French government), scenes from La Dolce Vita, beautiful places, beautiful houses, beautiful people, the beautiful life and beautiful dresses.

Some did not enjoy this doc because they found it ostentatious, extravagant, pretentious and many other not positive adjectives. Perhaps is true for some. But I’m not going to pretend that I had no idea who Valentino is and why this is called The Last Emperor. He is one of the two couturiers (not designers) that still is alive and until recently, working; the other one is Karl Lagerfeld. Valentino is the last Italian couturier that learned the art from the 20’s couturiers. So, in a way I also enjoyed learning about Valentino last years in the business as definitively haute couture is something that I do not follow.

This is one documentary that those that enjoy the gay interest genre should not miss and those that look for a serious portrait of a great couturier should NOT watch. This is a highly entertaining and charming portrait of a gay couple that as Giammetti mentions, for the last 45 years have spend 24/7 together, and if he counts the days that have not will not add more that 2 months. Gee, that’s truly amazing for a very successful couple.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion.

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