Re: Assignment #5 – “Iris” documentary

“Iris” the documentary feature directed and filmed by Albert Maysles was the last film of one of the great innovators of the “cinema verite” style of filmmaking.  If you have never watched Maysles’ film “Grey Gardens” I highly recommend it.

Here are links for a few of the reviews of “Iris”.  Please read them. I would love your views on the film and whether you think the reviewers represented the film accurately and if your
views differ.  What made Iris Apfel the quintessential New Yorker and the worldly sophisticate that embraced fashion and style on her own terms?  Is her obsession with creating her unique eclectic “fashion statement” and collecting a vast museum worthy collection of accessories and clothes, the idle pastime of a rich matron or the artistic pursuit of a cultured iconoclast? What stood out about her and her relationship to her husband of more than six decades? Was she a trail blazer or not?

Below are some quote from the comments section in response to the NY Times article (see link below).

“Fashion is narcissistic adults playing dress-up and then congratulating themselves for it.” or  “I have been a huge Maysles fan since I first saw Salesman. It’s lamentable that the final brick in their legacy is a testimonial to acquisition and consumerism and fame bestowed on someone who have never lifted a finger in her life, except to adjust her glasses.” or

Ms. Apfel’s style represents, to me, a dynamic and unique energy and an intense love of life. She still cares. I hope I’m as “narcissistic” as Iris if I’m lucky enough to reach her age.

Thank you for this review! I was stunned and excited and strangely moved when I saw the Apfel exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum…and now I know why…Iris was a “glorious rebel”. I knew she was an artist, creative, very smart and full of joie de vivre but you and Albert Maysles identified her essence.

Another review to compare:

An interview:


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