Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's (2013)
Critic Consensus: Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's is a fun documentary which ultimately doubles as an infomercial for the Manhattan store.
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Critic Reviews for Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's
No, it's not hard-hitting journalism about retail fashion or conspicuous consumption. It's more like a graceful authorized biography of an institution.
There's probably a brilliant documentary to be made at New York department store Bergdorf Goodman. No such luck
The overall feel is less of a cohesive documentary and more of a slapdash scrapbook of facts, historical information and name-dropping.
Much of the window dressing has gone out of fashion. It's nice to revisit it here.
As a sociological exercise, it's like another culture. As a film, it's like science fiction, a visit to Planet Obscenely Wealthy. It is weirdly compelling.
Audience Reviews for Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's
I'm not really sure if this makes for a good documentary although I will say most of it is rather interesting in an odd sort of way. The film is rather unfocused and isn't sure what it is actually wanting to say as it takes on one-too-many things it wants to tell about the fabulously glamorous shopping mecca for the world's elite, Bergdorf Goodmans in NYC. The film is about the prestigious and wealthy clients and how only the very rich can afford to even walk into its doors ... so it is a rather odd celebration of classism and narcissism. I believe it would have been more successful if the film were about the beauty in the store; but the film wants to interview and highlight the uber-wealthy that believe themselves better simply because they can afford to shop here. The film celebrates them ... while snubbing those who cannot ... which means most people watching movies. It is an odd tactic the filmmakers have decided to take. Why offend those watching the movie letting them know they aren't worthy of inclusion? If the doc was a bit scathing in its high-class ideals that would be one thing; but it isn't the case. It is as if "you don't matter unless you can shop at Bergdorfs!" This is disappointing because there is some interesting discussion with designers hoping to become exclusive designers to Bergdorf and a neat section of the doc about the haven of shoes that some women cannot even talk about because they'll get too emotional. That part of the film was actually rather awesome. The film does have some of the most beautifully photographed/filmed scenes in movies in 2013 at the end of the doc. Linking the film together are snippets about the wonderful window displays ... and we get to see them in all of their glory at the very end of the film ... and they are stunning. I had goosebumps ... and a tear at the beauty in the "brass" window. Whoa. One probably must enjoy art or design or fashion to enjoy any of this film so be advised on that; but those windows are f-word fantastic!
Do you ever think of shopping as an art form? You just might after seeing this tremendous doc centered on Bergdorf Goodman, the premiere Manhattan luxury store for more than a century. But director Matthew Miele's amazing doc is no paean to brainless consumerism. Miele tracks Bergdorf's history from quaint little tailor shop to fashion capital of the country, if not the world. Best of all, Miele gets into the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention financial clout that goes into creating a fashion store as legend. Designers from Armani to the late Alexander McQueen would give anything to be sold there. In the doc we meet Linda Fargo, the fashion director who keeps the gate well-guarded. There's also shopper Betty Halbreich who has a way with words, especially when it comes to big time stars. Then there's David Hoey and his design tem who create those eye-popping iconic windows that are worth the trip alone. You need not be a fashion guru to appreciate the dazzling world on display. Miele and his superb cinematographer Justin Bare, show a world where fashion can be life-changing and inspirational. The stuff that dreams are made of.
If you like fashion, this is the movie for you. There are great stories here about the history of the iconic store and some of its designer fans, partners, and famous and fashionable customers. If you don't recognize the names it may be harder to enjoy.
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