Cutting comments

Lisa Immordino Vreeland on Katharine Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Cecil Beaton

by Anne-Katrin Titze

‪Lisa Immordino Vreeland‬ presented ‪Love, Cecil‬ at Sotheby's in New York
‪Lisa Immordino Vreeland‬ presented ‪Love, Cecil‬ at Sotheby's in New York Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

On a stormy spring Saturday night, Art Agency, Partners and Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber hosted a reception and preview screening of Love, Cecil at Sotheby's in New York.

Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the director of Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, presented her documentary on Cecil Beaton (Best Costumes Oscar for George Cukor's My Fair Lady and a Tony, presented by Julie Andrews, for Coco, starring Katharine Hepburn as Coco Chanel) narrated by Rupert Everett and edited by Bernadine Colish (Absolute Wilson).

Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Coco on Broadway, costumes by Cecil Beaton
Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Coco on Broadway, costumes by Cecil Beaton Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Through on-camera interviews with David Hockney, Leslie Caron, Isaac Mizrahi, Hamish Bowles, Manolo Blahnik, David Bailey and Penelope Tree, and terrific archival footage, including an exchange between Truman Capote and Diana Vreeland on their take on Cecil Beaton, we learn a great deal about the photographer, costume and set designer and his complicated personal life, including Greta Garbo.

Cecil Beaton had contentious relationships with a number of people, among them, George Cukor and Katharine Hepburn.

Following the screening on the evening of Katharine Hepburn's birthdate, I asked Lisa Immordino Vreeland about the timing of the very cutting remarks we hear in Love, Cecil from Cecil Beaton about the star of Coco.

Anne-Katrin Titze: Today [May 12] happens to be Katharine Hepburn's 111th birthday. Cecil Beaton had some harsh words about her. Calling her a "freckled", "heartless", "dried-out boot." When did he say that? Was that before their collaboration on Coco or after?

Lisa Immordino Vreeland: I actually think that was before Coco. I'm going to be honest, I don't quite remember. But I can tell you one thing about Coco. When she decided to be on it … She wasn't that good on it, let's be honest. She wasn't. There's only one Coco Chanel.

She had a special request in her contract that any photo he took she had to approve. So he must have said it all before. She had really had it out with him already. And in anything that he designed costume-wise she had changes. So she was just pushing him to the limit. So I do think he said all those things before.

Love, Cecil opens in the US on June 29.

Share this with others on...
News

Documenting the rainbow The non-fiction highlights of this year's NewFest

Hidden Places Isabelle Huppert on filming in Sintra, fashion and Frankie

Engaging Martin Scorsese Gay Talese on Martin Scorsese and The Irishman

Recording the soul Arnaud Desplechin on editing, Oh Mercy! and Cries And Whispers

A contemporary character Pietro Marcello on his film of Martin Eden and Jack London’s novel

Diversity Rocks Sarah Gavron and Theresa Ikoko on capturing the teenage spirit and pushing the industry forward

Oscar animation longlist revealed 32 films under consideration

Black Hat takes this year's Iris Prize My Brother Is A Mermaid wins Best British Short

More news and features

We're bring you coverage of this year's Cambridge Film Festival.



We're looking forward to New York's NewFest, the London Korean Film Festival and the French Film Festival.



We've recently been at the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival and Fantastic Fest in Austin.



Read our full for more.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

More competitions coming soon.