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Iris

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Starring Iris Apfel and Thomas Mann

This is an engaging documentary about a woman in her ‘90s who still has the world at her feet, in her case the world of fashion and creativity. Her name is Iris Apfel and she is 93, extremely quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed and still married to a man who turned 100 during the making of the doco. Iris and her sense of style are much sought after because she has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. She mixes with big name designers and is lauded for her often outrageous clothes and accessories, which are regularly seen in exhibitions across the country. Her outfits are rich and colourful, reflecting a warmth and personality of their own. She is interviewed, as is her husband, who admits that their journey has never been dull. Iris shops and is taken shopping and still knows how to haggle to land a bargain or two. She is a soaring free spirit, who provides inspiration to not only current designers and museum curators, but to future generations of artistes. The film portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people is infectious and proves to be her sustenance. She is a big believer in experimentation when it comes to trying new and unusual ways to dress. She continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middleclass Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. The documentary delves a little into the interior design business she ran with her husband, although I would love to have heard more about her past, as most of it is set in the here and now. The director, Albert Maysles passed away earlier this year at the age of 87. he has been described as “the dean of documentary filmmakers”, among those who speak about Iris are Harold Koda, curator in charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Margaret Russell, Editor-In-Chief of Architectural Digest. To see Iris clearly with some health issues, still emboldened and impassioned is truly an inspiration. And that is probably the best word I can use for the movie itself, which inspirational. Scheduled for a limited run at the Regent apart of Seniors Week Iris will please many cinema goers.

Rated M 8 OUT OF 10

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