Tribeca Festival films go behind the scenes in fashion, dance and theater

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:26pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From final fittings at a famous Parisian fashion house to rehearsals for a young choreographer's new work for the New York City Ballet and a global tour of "Richard III," documentaries at the Tribeca Film Festival give viewers the film equivalent of a backstage pass.

This year documentaries run the gamut of topics from digital currency in "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin," to the last natural habitat for Africa's endangered mountain gorillas in "Virunga" and "Misconception" about the consequences of world population growth.

"Dior and I," which opens on Thursday, follows creative director Raf Simons, 46, as he prepares his first couture collection for Christian Dior, and uncovers similarities between the Belgian designer and the French founder of the famous Parisian fashion house.

"There were all these uncanny things," said New York-based, French-born director Frederic Tcheng about the two men, both shy, reserved and inspired by the arts.

"There was a sense of reincarnation," he added.

Using voiceover excerpts from Dior's 1956 memoir "Christian Dior & I," Tcheng introduces viewers to Dior, both the man and the fashion house he created.

He shows how Simons created his 2012 collection with its strapless, full-skirted gowns in printed art-inspired patterns, flowing dresses with belted waists and feminine but sexy pant outfits.

"The goal for me as a documentary filmmaker is always to expand your horizons and in the case of this film getting to know seamstresses and their work and having access to this social environment that I really didn't know," Tcheng said.   Continued...

 
Robert De Niro waves upon arriving for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival opening night screening of 'Time Is Illmatic' in New York April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton