Advanced Style, film review

(PG) Lina Plioplyte, 72 mins

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The Independent Culture

This documentary originated in a blog that the fashion photographer Ari Seth Cohen created about the fashion sense and daily lives of various older New York women. They are between the ages of “50 and death”, as one of his muses puts it. His initial reasons for following these women are somewhat nebulous.

He talks of a desire to “connect” again with his grandmother, to whom he was devoted. The women make tremendous subjects for a film – they are witty, flamboyant and creative but, thanks to their advanced years, have an obvious frailty about them. Together with the director, Lina Plioplyte, Cohen wins his subjects’ trust to the extent that he is allowed to film them cooking, performing yoga, putting on make-up or even being just a bit catty about one another. Fashion docs are often shallow in the extreme but this one is as much about fighting back against the ravages of time as it is about air kissing – and is all the stronger as a result.