THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE REVIEWED
“The Gospel According to Andre” represents a two-fer that I’ve been waiting to see for awhile. Documentary sensation Kate Novack makes her solo documentary directing debut, while we finally get a feature length look at Andre Leon Talley. Talley is a giant of a man who has been a fashion taste maker for over 30 years. Most of the site’s readers won’t know who he is, but I’m always fascinated by striking figures doing things outside of my realm of knowledge.
There is something that bothers me about the documentary and hits hard in the final act. When Talley is watching the results of the 2016 Election, he comments on how the Fashion industry insulted him from time-to-time. Often called Queen Kong and ridiculed by his peers, Talley never quite felt at home with fashion culture. Yet, Andre Leon Talley keeps pushing against what has been done to find new ground. That’s a great sentiment and it’s about the only think you’ll find here.
Much like the recent trend of fashion documentaries, little attention is given to reality. It’s all about personal feeling and how one perceives reality through visual appeal. The Gospel According to Andre works when it makes us fascinated by the sight of this fashion giant. However, it only gives a mere taste of what’s ticking in the man’s head. At worst, it’s an overlong Biography and at best it’s a telling look at the recent trends of the Fashion industry. Still, I enjoyed it.
- 1 hr and 33 mins
- Magnolia Pictures
RELEASE DATE: 9/4/18
The Plot Thus Far
André Leon Talley has been a fixture in the world of fashion for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a time when he wasn’t defining the boundaries of great style. Kate Novack’s intimate portrait, The Gospel According to André takes viewers on an emotional journey from André’s roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to becoming one of the most influential tastemakers and fashion curators of our times.
Novack’s film draws fascinating, heretofore unexplored connections, between the elegance of André’s beloved grandmother and the Black Church of his youth to his later iconic, barrier-breaking work at publications like Women’s Wear Daily, W and Vogue. Weaving together a wealth of archival footage from the most glamorous moments in fashion history with André’s poignant reflections on his life and career, The Gospel According to André is a cinematic monument to one of the most unique figures of 20th Century American culture.
Produced by the team who brought viewers The First Monday in May and Page One: Inside The New York Times and featuring commentary from fashion luminaries including Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, The Gospel According to André is an indispensable addition to the growing canon of fashion documentary.