“Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist” is a documentary mural of Vivienne Westwood, a conform engineer whose initial celebrity came about during Britain’s punk transformation in a late 1970s. She’s an engaging personality, though no picnic, no travel in a park, and no friendly day during a beach — and that’s even with a cameras running.
The movie’s pretension indicates a flaws in a design. The “Punk” partial — that’s fascinating. But “icon”? Even if we accept a word as accurate, it’s flattering tighten to meaningless. And all to do with Westwood as an “activist” is tedious and rather pointless. You don’t need to hear Vivienne Westwood speak about meridian change, any some-more than you’d wear a dress designed by Al Gore.
The value of “Westwood” is that a mural of a artist’s life slips through, notwithstanding a subject’s hostility to participate. In a movie’s initial moments, we see her sitting on a cot looking mournful, grumbling about how she doesn’t wish to rehash a same aged stories and would cite to wind rather than get interrupted by a filmmaker’s irritating questions. Next, we see her impiety during a seamstress for misinterpreting something in a drawing.
Westwood, for all her success, seems to vacillate between several states of aggrievement — a operation that takes her from beaten-down abdication to outrage, with no time off for anything like levity. At first, we consider how awful it would be to work for her, a nightmare, really. Later, we consider how awful it would be to be her.
We learn to adore with Carrie Bradshaw, not usually others, though also ourselves. This is because we adore Carrie.
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Still, there is something appealing and excellent about Westwood, even over a talent. She speaks in an accent that sounds tip category by approach of a operative category — an engaging multiple that tells we both that she came from nowhere and that she got somewhere. Already in her mid- to late 30s when punk started, she invented a movement’s demeanour and afterwards had a comprehension to comprehend when to get off that sight and transition into her possess pattern business.
The film is during a best when documenting Westwood’s stand from zero to counterculture participation to tip designer. “Sex and a City” fans might remember that Westwood designed Carrie Bradshaw’s matrimony dress — we can’t get any some-more determined than that. Those already informed with Westwood’s work will suffer carrying a film fill in a biographical and personal details.
But those entrance into “Westwood” cold might be disappointed. For example, as someone who knows zero about Westwood’s work besides Carrie’s matrimony to Big, we would have favourite Westwood’s artistic significance explained to me — to know what she did that others didn’t, and because she was good when others weren’t. we accept that she was popular, and am even peaceful to take on faith that her work is brilliant. But we would have favourite to know because it’s brilliant.
The answer to this might simply be, “Well, usually look.” Either we get it, or we don’t. Perhaps. But there’s something a bit frustrating about sitting down to watch a Vivienne Westwood documentary, usually to find yourself saying a 76-year-old lady in a winter coat, station in a center of nowhere articulate about how a ice shelf is melting. If executive Lorna Tucker was peaceful to teach a already prepared on meridian change, it doesn’t seem irrational to wish she’d been some-more peaceful to teach a curious-but-ignorant about women’s fashion.
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist
Documentary. With Vivienne Westwood. Directed by Lorna Tucker. (Unrated. 83 minutes.)
Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle’s film critic. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @MickLaSalle