God Save My Shoes


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

God Save My Shoes
"Whether you're an addict or a skeptic, this is a documentary with real style, relentlessly upbeat and energised, full of fun."

Most people like to dress well if they can afford it. Shoes are an important functional item and they might as well look good. But why do some women have 40 or even 400 pairs? What is it about the shoe that attracts this kind of obsession, this compulsive purchasing and adoration?

Whether you're an addict or a sceptic, this is a documentary with real style, relentlessly upbeat and energised, full of fun. Whilst focusing squarely on the mainstream (there's no room here for those who fight over designer trainers or collect different coloured doc martens), it's full of beautiful things, shoes as sculpture, shoes as works of art. Guests as varied as Manolo Blahnik, Dita Von Teese and Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas talk aesthetics and express their passion. Delicious cinematography presents everything and everyone at their best.

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Not all the film's arguments hang together. Why does a woman walking along a bright street in a transparent skirt think people are looking at her feet? But there are effective challenges presented to many popular myths about high heels - that they have to be precarious, that they have to hurt, that they necessarily damage the legs. God Save My Shoes isn't afraid to acknowledge engineering as an element of fashion. It also tackles anti-heel feminist arguments head on, contending that, whilst stilettos may be more about looking sexy than being tall, they are a source of power in their own right. The suggestion that they're a tool with which women can make confident statements about their sexuality is well supported by the individuals speaking in this context, and for balance there's a drag queen shaping herself to the same aesthetic as the suggestion is made that men should give it a try.

Some of this is bound to be contentious but the big hearted, good humoured mood of the film ensures it will appeal to viewers anyway. There are only hints of dissatisfaction, of insecurity as a trigger for compulsive shopping, of the squandering of fortunes. Just beware - if you're an addict yourself, you may want to leave your credit cards at home before going to see this film.

Reviewed on: 25 Jan 2012
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God Save My Shoes packshot
What is it about shoes that drives some women crazy? This documentary aims to find out - in dazzling style.
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Director: Julie Benasra

Writer: Julie Benasra

Starring: Manolo Blahnik, Kelly Rowland, Fergie, Beth Shak, Dita Von Teese

Year: 2011

Runtime: 60 minutes

Country: USA


Glasgow 2012

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