What To Watch (July 2014)

Film and blogging mash-up famously in Advanced Style the Documentary. What started as a blog four years ago, with Ari Seth Cohen snapping stylish women over 50 on the streets of New York, is now referred to as a movement.  His blog became so popular that it is now a best-selling book, many of his ‘stars’ have TV roles or ad campaigns and there’s even an Advanced Style colouring book. 

Advanced Style the documentary brings these women to life even further with as many quotable quotes as there are enviable outfits.  One of my favourites comes from Zelda Kaplan aged 95, “I think good style improves the environment for everyone.” Or “I never wanted to look young, I wanted to look great.” from Joyce Carpati.  Looking to older women as style icons is so anti-fashion that of course the fashion world is taking notice – all great fashion movements have started on the streets after all.   In a time when magazines try to tell us the Duchess of Cambridge is a style hero (ho-hum) it is not hard to see why the world is crying out for these dames.


Anyone old enough to have been into Brit Pop when it was a thing in the 90’s will not be disappointed with Pulp: A film About Life Death and Supermarkets from Florian Habicht.  The band are originally from Sheffield, a Frankston-type town three hours North of London, and this film is as much about Sheffield as it is about Pulp.  All the action takes place on December 8 2012, the day of the Pulp reunion show for their home crowd.  Interviews with band members are littered with stories from locals and fans, some of them in supermarkets.  We get to understand how being ‘commoners’ really informed Pulp’s work and obviously their biggest hit Common People.  And how Jarvis Cocker struggled with fame and losing his membership to the common people club that made him what he was.  The band seemed to be all too aware of the danger of reforming and the potential for it to be a major bummer – we have all been to a re-union concert like that.  But they just bring it, the crowd goes mental and I really wish I was there.

These are just two films screening as part of Melbourne International Film Festival, the full program guide will be released on July 11.  Films are showing Thursday, July 31 – Sunday, August 17 at most city cinemas.  More details, previews and tickets at miff.com.au.

Penny Ivison writes monthly for PEARL on film & TV. If there’s anything you’d like to let Penny know about that’s happening in the Bayside or Peninsula area in 2014, you can find her on twitter @pipsicedtea.