US, 2013, 72 minutes, Colour.
Directed by Lina Plioplyte.
The niche audience for this documentary is probably women in their 90s or, perhaps more generously, women in their 80s or late 70s. Not that other audiences might not enjoy it, but it is a film for a feminine sensibility of whatever gender.
Ari Cohen, something of a flamboyant, at least flamboyantly dressed, photographer says he has been influenced by his grandmothers and wanted to keep in touch with their sensibilities by photographing women over 50, especially those who, in the New York streets, also dressed flamboyantly, drawing attention to the styles of their costumes and hats, as well as their poses and styles as they walked along the streets.
Cohen was impressed, and we see him interviewing a number of these elderly women in the streets, flattering one by suggesting that she was 50 when she admits to 60. And he started a blog which had many, many, many hits to see his gallery of photos.
Collaborating with photographer-director, Lina Plioplyte, he selects a number of the women, those who have very strong personalities and were able to present instantly to camera. These women are certainly articulate, very New York or very New England, unabashed in relating their life stories, and taking absolute delight in explaining their ensembles or, in their words, their outfits.
Aficionados of fashion will find the film very interesting, visually striking, and humanly both serious and humorous. Cohen takes the women to a fashion show which they revel in. He also takes them to a television studio where they strut their stuff and give interviews on the Ricky Lake Show.
A macho audience, or a semi-macho audience, or a semi-semi macho audience, might find the film a bit trying, not to their taste or interest.
One can admire Cohen’s enthusiasm. One can be impressed by the women and their vitality, and realise that if one able if one is able to take interest in one’s life and surroundings, then the 80s and then 90s will be especially lively.