Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's

A New Yorker cartoon by Victoria Roberts lends its name to the new fashion documentary "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's," about the landmark department store at 57th & 5th. Director Matthew Miele has interviewed dozens of designers, celebrity clients, personal shoppers, window dressers, salespeople and customers, and set his footage to a Pandora-gone-wrong soundtrack that's equal parts Duck Sauce and fiddling hoedown. There are some highly amusing anecdotes and a thumbnail history from the store's beginnings in the late nineteenth century, but the picture is loosely organized at best - using New Yorker-font title cards - and exceedingly slight. It would make a decent hourlong special on Bravo or Lifetime; stretched past ninety minutes and released as a feature, it drags.

Instead, check out 2009's "The September Issue" or, better yet, last year's four-star "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel." And if you've seen both of those, William Fichtner, who narrates "Bergdorf's," appeared memorably in "Nine Lives," director Rodrigo Garcia's terrific woman-centric film from 2005.

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