"The Eye Travels, the Mind Wanders"
What You Need To Know:
DIANA VREELAND consists mostly of talking heads with some photos. The interview with Vreeland is old. This fact, coupled with all the photos from a bygone era, gives this meandering documentary an outdated feel. The eye may travel while watching this documentary, but the mind will likely wander. Despite a positive portrayal of her 40-year marriage, the movie focuses too much attention on Vreeland’s opinion of things. Her opinion is often very shallow. It includes an obsession with material things, glamour and social climbing. This quality and some photos of nude models warrant extreme caution for DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL.
(RoRo, B, Ho, LL, S, NN, A, D, MM) Strong Romantic worldview about a fashion-obsession opinion leader and trendsetter in the 20th Century with some moral elements about hard work, perseverance and her enduring marriage, plus some homosexual references; 19 obscenities and profanities, mostly light profanities such as MG and OG; no violence; some references to sexuality, including homosexuality; several nude images from photo shoots and photo spreads in magazines of female models, including side shots and upper female nudity; photos of people drinking alcohol; photos of people smoking; and, excessive materialism, references to using money to live glamorously rather than with meaning, self-absorption.
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL is a documentary about the world of fashion in the 20th Century. It details the life story of one of the fashion industry’s most colorful figures, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue magazine editor Diana Vreeland. Vreeland discovered actress Lauren Bacall, who lit the cinema world and Humphrey Bogart’s heart on fire. She also promoted Twiggy, the skinny English model from the 1960s.
The movie, directed by Vreeland’s granddaughter with two co-directors, mixes early-1980s interview footage with a nonstop array of photographic and video images. It chronicles Vreeland’s rise from being a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar to being the magazine’s editor. Finally, it shows Vreeland eventually jumping ship to work at Harper’s competitor, Vogue. Along the way, Vreeland devoted her life to social climbing and a highly materialistic attitude that ultimately is vacuous compared to the true meaning found in God and Christ.
The movie consists largely of re-created scenes of an interview with famed fellow upper-crust legend George Plimpton where Vreeland expresses her delight in these shallow pleasures. Ultimately, despite a positive portrayal of her 40-year marriage, the movie is too focused only on her opinion of things. Also, her opinion mirrors her apparent self-absorption and obsession with glamour. This probably has little appeal for anyone who’s not already fascinated by the fashion world and the fast living associated with it.
Vreeland speaks expressively throughout the movie. However, her speech is marred by many light profanities using God’s name in vain as she discusses decidedly worldly matters. There are also some shots of nude photos in DIANA VREELAND, as well as some homosexual references. The movie also features numerous photos of Vreeland and other people casually smoking and drinking alcohol.
On the positive side, the movie shows that hard work and perseverance can help people overcome their limitations and achieve success in life. For instance, Vreeland overcame her homely appearance to be fully included in the world of beautiful models. The movie also highlights the enduring nature of Vreeland’s lifelong marriage.
That said, DIANA VREELAND consists mostly of talking heads with some photos. The interview with Vreeland is old. This fact, coupled with all the photos from a bygone era, gives this meandering documentary an outdated feel. The eye may travel while watching this documentary, but the mind will likely wander. The photos of nude models warrant extreme caution. Otherwise, however, this documentary is likely to be of little interest to most moviegoers.