My general opinion about TV isn’t the least bit complimentary. I find most programmes too mind-numbing to watch for more than a few minutes. I’m all for unwinding, but I like to relax without feeling as though my braincells are being terminated in the process.
If I didn’t have a TV I wouldn’t feel starved of culture or entertainment. About ten years ago, the telly I had at the time suddenly died on me and a replacement didn’t materialise until I’d lived through at least 12 months of abstinence (and I hadn’t been exactly itching for a new idiot box even then – my new portable was a leaving present from my colleagues at the magazine I’d been a staff writer at!)
Then, every once and a while, something gets aired which I actually want and plan to watch. This week was one of those rare experiences, when ‘The September Issue’ was screened on Channel 4.
I’d first seen this intelligent documentary, following the ‘ice maiden’ of American magazines, Anna Wintour and her team at US Vogue, craft the biggest ever issue of this fashion bible in their history (September 2007 issue) at Doc/Fest http://sheffdocfest.com/– an internationally-renown festival for those working in the film-making industry, last November.
I appreciated the lightest of touches director R J Cutler made with this entertaining and engaging film. Of course, he’d had have to done something seriously wrong for me not to be interested in the subject. The inner workings of the publishing industry – especially in the case of a magazine brand which holds such vice-like grip over the high fashion industry it reflects – still gets the ink in my pen flowing, even though I’ve worked in this media sector for 13 years.
But, during the director Q&A session, held after the Doc/Fest screening I attended, someone asked Cutler: ‘Did you ever wonder why Anna Wintour agreed to make the film? Was it a way for her to get publicity for Vogue?’ Hearing this, I half laughed, half knashed my teeth.
As if brand Vogue needs publicity! Many would say high fashion needs Vogue, not the other way round. Butler recognised the power of the Vogue brand and intended to peel away part of the enigma of the woman who’s the driving force behind this uber-name.
To this end I think he succeeded – and I was impressed at Wintour’s clever – whether deliberate or not – harnessing of silence. The power of the pause; it’s something I’ve used during interviews with tight-lipped or shy subjects
Sometimes though, it pays to stay silent. Which brings me to an update about the short film I feature in, unveiled this week(and mentioned in my previous post). ‘Heartbeat’ features little dialogue, but has oodles of style.
After all, words are one thing. But sometimes, it’s better to simply put your best foot forward – and strike your best pose.
Check out the film below(I appear in the last two scenes). Happy viewing!