Advanced Style is a documentary that examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen's famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western culture's increasing obsession with youth.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Ilona Smithkin is 93 and has learnt how to make her own false eyelashes - well, not so false, because she uses her own carrot red hair. And they're oversize. It was necessity that forced her into this invention, when the chap who used to make them for her died. Age does that to you, but Ilona (still speaking with a recognisably Hungarian accent, but not the only Hungarian in this film) is among a parade of over 60 women captured by Ari Seth Cohen's roving camera, and now by filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, as they hunt fashion-driven women of advanced age.
Ilona - a vibrant art teacher and sometime nightclub performer nowdays - is perhaps the most colourful in dress, and that's a big call because the one thing these fashionista divas are not is shy dressers. (And by the way, Ilona is not the oldest in the film.)
The subjects are multiculturally and racially mixed, but they do have one thing in common: individuality. You may not like the fashion taste of them all, but you can't ignore their unique styles; that's what it's about for them - style. Besides, through their brief interviews with the filmmakers, they introduce themselves to us with disarming candour. That's another thing age does or you - lets you be more honest and open.
Although it runs out of puff, it's easy to take, this 'impromptu' doco, colourful and fun, and very New York - not to mention full of surprises. Death included.
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ADVANCED STYLE (PG)
PRODUCER: Ari Seth Cohen
DIRECTOR: Lina Plioplyte
SCRIPT: Ari Seth Cohen, Lina Plioplyte
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lina Plioplyte
EDITOR: Yianna Dellatolla, Michael Carter, Hye Mee Na
MUSIC: Kelli Scarr
PRODUCTION DESIGN: .
RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 2, 2014