The First Monday in May

2016

Documentary

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1616

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 24, 2021 at 07:34 AM

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
831.72 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
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1.67 GB
1920*1072
English 5.1
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by chron 2 / 10

A Failure of All That Make for Good Documentaries

There were lots of editorial points-of-view that would have been worthy of an interesting documentary. Some of the dresses were fantastic. Even when I did not care for the style, I was impressed at the craftsmanship that went into them. I would have liked to hear more about the history and construction.

Although I know little about her, Anna Wintour strikes me as someone whose life might be interesting to learn more about. We got a glimpse of that, but that would have been worthy of a documentary of its own.

The Met Gala is an interesting social gathering. I had heard of it through mentions from people like Stephen Colbert, but knew little about it. It was that reasons that I watched this. We got some of that, too, but not in the way that was interesting in the least.

What resulted is an epic failure of direction and having an editorial point-of-view. Much of the content that did make it into the documentary was not relevant - or its relevancy made unclear due to the poor story-telling.

It bounced from topic to topic, missing context, and failing ultimately in telling any story.

Reviewed by dave-mcclain 7 / 10

"The First Monday in May" is a solid and interesting, but unexceptional documentary.

One of the great things about movies is they expand our horizons – if we let them. Learning new things, broadening our world view, even discovering new interests. All can be benefits of watching a well-done film, regardless of the topic, but the individual Movie Fan first must decide to invest the time – and do so with an open mind. For many years, I didn't care to see documentaries… until I actually started watching documentaries. I discovered for myself that they don't just inform, but they cover many different topics, come in many different styles, can be extremely creative and can even be surprisingly entertaining. Before seeing "The First Monday in May" (PG-13, 1:30), I didn't have much interest in the world of fashion. Afterwards, I still don't. But that doesn't mean that in watching this doc I didn't learn new things, expand my world view, discover new interests, or appreciate the film's quality. Au contraire.

This documentary examines some important aspects of fashion against the backdrop of planning and executing the biggest fashion exhibition ever at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fashion world icons including European designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld discuss whether high fashion is simply "applied art" or whether it can (and should) ever be considered its own category of art, on par with painting, sculpture and architecture. Then we see Andrew Bolton, curator of the Met's Costume Institute, work with Vogue editor Anna Wintour (the alleged inspiration for Meryl Streep's character in 2006's "The Devil Wears Prada") as they blur that line further with their annual Met Ball.

On the first Monday of May, the Costume Institute Gala (as the Met Ball is officially called) brings together people from the worlds of fashion, politics, high society, the arts, music and film for a lavish evening which serves as the most important fundraiser of the year for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to the film, "The Met Ball is the Super Bowl of social fashion events." Almost every year, the gala includes a themed exhibition combining fashion with other forms of art. The Met's exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" in 2011 (the year after McQueen's death) was the gala's most popular, but also created a standard that the Met Ball struggled to surpass.

"On the First Monday in May" is documentary filmmaker Andrew Rossi's look behind the scenes as the Met tries to top that 2011 exhibition with its 2015 theme "China: Through the Looking Glass". We see the planning and preparations for the exhibition as the main players discuss and disagree over issues ranging from aesthetics to cultural sensitivities. Some of the planners even fly to China to talk about the exhibition with the Chinese government and to promote the event, while Wintour, the long-time gala chairperson, works with her staff on which celebrities are coming, how to avoid potential problems in the seating arrangements and whether they can afford Rhianna, who has been scheduled to perform at the dinner. As the months leading up to the 2015 gala seem to fly by, Vogue is also moving its offices to One World Trade, the Met staff is increasingly worried about whether the exhibition can be finished in time and everybody wonders if the 2015 Met Ball will be as successful as they want and need it to be.

This documentary is worthwhile, but unexceptional. It's well-balanced between establishing context, gathering first-person commentary from all the major players and utilizing Rossi's extraordinary access to the places and moments that he needs to tell this story. The film is educational and interesting, but not especially creative or exciting. The high points include taking in the splendor of the finished exhibition, checking out the beautiful outfits the celebrities chose to wear to this major event with such a specific theme, and seeing how many famous faces you can spot among the attendees. Of course, you have to actually see the film to enjoy any of that. A Movie Fan who only wants to laugh or see stories of death and destruction may not enjoy this movie, but open-minded cinephiles, and fans of art, fashion and celebrity culture, almost certainly will. "B+"

Reviewed by athenamuses-308-200437 8 / 10

An unexpected revelation

A very good documentary that perhaps unwittingly reveals the shallowness of the participants. To me, Andrew Bolton is the only person who appears to have any substance at all. Watching Justin Bieber screeching in the hallway, people sniping at each other, sycophants gurgling over Rihanna's bizarre outfit which she caresses like some exotic animal and proudly announces that it took two years to make. What for? The dominant feeling of the entire movie was displacement and, for me, depression. I don't think one person laughed, took a walk, relaxed, or expressed an original thought in the whole movie. All this effort, all this tension, for what? To pay Rihanna twice the amount that any other celebrity has ever asked for? Why not just make a contribution to the Met? It was really an eye opener into excess, narcissism and a kind of professional, daily misery. I felt a little ill after watching it. The excesses of preening, posturing and vanity were all too much to bear. But the strangest thing is not one of these people except for Mr. Bolton, had anything remotely interesting to say.

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