2 posts tagged "Valentino: The Last Emperor"
“I’m calling it the greatest pug movie of all time,” jokes Matt Tyrnauer of his documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor (click above for a clip), which covers two crucial years in the lives of Valentino Garavani and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti. By now most of the fashion fluent have seen the comical canine clip that’s made its rounds on the Web over the past year, but in fact, the film, which premieres today at Film Forum, goes beyond the surface of Val’s over-the-top glamour. Evolving from a feature that Tyrnauer, a Vanity Fair special correspondent, wrote for the magazine in 2004, Valentino is a warts-and-all portrait that digs deep into one of the industry’s greatest partnerships—at times to the subjects’ discomfort. “Valentino’s press is miles wide but only very shallow in depth,” explains Tyrnauer. “He had never talked about his relationship with Giancarlo Giammetti in great depth and he had never given a kind of insiderly look at how he did it. And this is someone that started with nothing and built a global fashion empire.”
Shooting from 2005 to 2007, Tyrnauer captured the glory of Valentino’s 45th anniversary, the bittersweetness of his decision to retire, and the end of the alta moda era with the sale of VFG to private equity firm Permira. But in the end it’s the duo’s unique relationship that takes center stage. “It’s an amazing, dynamic, and sometimes hysterically funny partnership,” Tyrnauer observes. “They’re a great double act.” Here, Tyrnauer talks to Style.com about the details behind documenting la dolce vita.
Being wired for sound for two years seems like a nightmare for people who are accustomed to supreme comforts. Did Valentino and his team know what they were in for?
I don’t think anyone really had a full picture of what it would be like to be pursued by the camera, and, even more annoyingly, sometimes microphones for two years. So there are lots of tense moments, which I put in the movie, because that’s who [Valentino] is. He’s someone who lives in a kind of bubble world of unbelievable luxury; everything is taken care of for him, and mostly by Giancarlo Giammetti, who is this incredibly loyal friend and protector, and at one time, a partner in the romantic sense for half a century.
Your Vanity Fair feature started to get into that. Was it true that no one had talked about their sexuality in print before your story?
I think in print it had never been talked about. Actually, I’m sure of it. It’s just a different era we’re talking about here. The fifties, when Valentino started, and the sixties were a very different time, and Italy is a very different country. It’s 99 percent Catholic and the relationship was not talked about openly. My Vanity Fair story was the first time they both spoke about being boyfriends. Continue Reading “The Last Emperor Director Matt Tyrnauer Talks Pugs, Love, And Valentino” »