fabulous fashionistas

Fabulous Fashionistas is a documentary about six British women (average age: 80) who dress and act just as they please. Their sense of style, and lust for life, is fantastic. The movie is refreshing and inspiring, but sadly no longer available in the US. I saw it via the Channel 4 site some months ago. It has been taken down since.

All you European lucky people should look it up. The rest of us will have to wait, I guess.

Slideshow from The Guardian, here. Review from the Guardian, here.

welcome to sweden

I’ve watched the first few episodes of this series, Welcome to Sweden. It’s a romantic comedy about a guy who moves from New York to Stockholm to be with his Swedish girlfriend. There are cultural clashes of course, and language problems. And it’s pretty funny, to me, to see what Swedish culture looks like through American eyes, and exaggerated for effect. There are lots of details, like the omnipresent Dala Horses. Swedes may think that’s a stereotype, but let’s be honest. We spread those things like wildfire. I have two in my house in California, plus a rarity: a Dala Rooster given to me on my first Easter. At work I have a Dala horse ornament. I don’t remember how it ended up there, but there it is.

All women in the series, except for Lena Olin, are blonde. As a non-blonde Swede all my life I’m slightly miffed, but I also know that the impression anyone traveling to Scandinavia gets is that everyone is blonde. That includes myself, after 20 years in the US, by the way.

Welcome to Sweden will air on NBC this summer. It’s on TV4 in Sweden right now.

finding vivian maier, and making money from her work


When I first heard about Vivian Maier I was super excited. She’s a woman who photographed obsessively all of her adult life, without any recognition, and without ever developing most of her film. After her death her considerable talent was discovered. Her work is amazing in many different ways. It’s documentary, striking, and produced by a very particular mind. Here is a New York Times story and slide show to give you an idea if you haven’t seen her work before.

There are (at least) two movies about Vivian Maier’s life. One was produced by John Maloof, the man who owns the bulk of her negatives. John Maloof has worked hard at promoting Vivian Maier and her work, and he was behind the news stories that surfaced about three years ago. John Maloof’s movie is in theaters right now, and as excited as I’ve been about it, I’ve decided not to see it. It feels like a commercial venture, and it strikes me as odd that a woman who protected her privacy all of her life, shall be making money for someone else. This Boston Globe review of the film is generally positive, but interesting.

The second movie, The Vivian Maier Mystery (available on Amazon and Google Play, and also, at least for the time being, here) was produced by BCC Scotland. This film tells a slightly different story. It puts John Maloof and his actions into perspective, and it asks interesting questions about ownership, fame, and money.

(The image above comes from a story in The New Yorker.)