Kick-Back Friday: #159
The September Issue (2009): A limited portrait of the inner workings of Vogue magazine and its notoriously (and weirdly) frigid editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour*—the model for Meryl Streep’s much more engaging (and comparatively accessible) Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
Documentarian R. J. Cutler, seemingly working on the fly, appears to be in search of a real story here—one that concerns more than the construction of the magazine’s phonebook-sized fall issue for 2007, Wintour’s bobby-pin arms, or her strangely immutable pageboy. That’s possibly because there’s little substance to be found within the offices of Vogue. But Cutler ultimately stumbles on a film-sustaining push-me-pull-you dynamic between Wintour and the magazine’s frizzy-haired creative director, the relatively Earth Mother-ish Grace Coddington.
You may ask now (as the NYT‘s Maureen Dowd did in 2009) if Vogue has been able to advance beyond its general haute-couture cluelessness during the last 3 years of the nation’s retrenchment. The magazine’s March 2011 issue, which features a head-shaking puff piece on Asma al-Assad, the first lady of Syria (Wha—?), is your answer.
* There’s a reason it’s pronounced “winter.”