Cecil Beaton Documentary Available Online

The full length documentary film of Cecil Beaton’s career that was released last December is now available online. See previous post. This is entitled Love, Cecil. The film was briefly reviewed at the time of its release in the Daily Express (which liked it) as well as in The Times and the Guardian (not so much).  A new more in-depth review has now been posted on the website Movie Nation. This explains a Vogue magazine connection with the project and also offers a bit more analysis of the contents than the  earlier reviews:

…filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland had archival TV interviews with Beaton, even access to his first on-screen essay on “American beauty” (from 1929, and he insisted there was no such thing as “American” beauty). She had Beaton’s many published diaries, and Rupert Everett (as Beaton) reading from them. Mostly though, she had self-portraits to choose from — thousands of the damned things — preening, made-up, perfectly coiffed, perfectly lit and beautifully composed shots of the man’s idealized image of himself…The film is as adoring as those self-portraits.

Filmmaker Vreeland, granddaughter-in-law- of Vogue empress and Beaton intimate Diana Vreeland, rounded up legions of those who met, knew or were influenced by Beaton’s chic tastes, eye for color and social climbing — designers like Blahnik and Mizrahi, current British “Vogue” editor Hamish Bowles among them.

Bowles previously reviewed the film favorably for Vogue magazine. The current review concludes:

…Vreeland’s film, wallowing in the Beaton vision of beauty via his images, his art and his screen work, does a marvelous service in reclaiming this dandy’s dandy/designer’s designer and iconic photographer from obscurity. The culture will never see the likes of Cecil Beaton again, a Renaissance Man with an unfailing eye for composition and color, though his record for narcissistic self-portraiture is challenged every day by the stars of Instagram.

The film is available on DVD from Amazon.com and may also be streamed online in the UK on Amazon.co.uk. It has been published in book form as well.

UPDATE (29 June 2018): Another article about the Cecil Beaton documentary appears in a recent Women’s Wear Daily. This is by Bridget Foley and also mentions that the film opened this week at the film theatre in Lincoln Center, New York.


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