| NEW YORK, April 17
NEW YORK, April 17 From final fittings at a
famous Parisian fashion house to rehearsals for a young
choreographer's new work for the New York City Ballet and a
global tour of "Richard III," documentaries at the Tribeca Film
Festival give viewers the film equivalent of a backstage pass.
This year documentaries run the gamut of topics from digital
currency in "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin," to the last natural
habitat for Africa's endangered mountain gorillas in "Virunga"
and "Misconception" about the consequences of world population
"Dior and I," which opens on Thursday, follows creative
director Raf Simons, 46, as he prepares his first couture
collection for Christian Dior, and uncovers similarities between
the Belgian designer and the French founder of the famous
Parisian fashion house.
"There were all these uncanny things," said New York-based,
French-born director Frederic Tcheng about the two men, both
shy, reserved and inspired by the arts.
"There was a sense of reincarnation," he added.
Using voiceover excerpts from Dior's 1956 memoir "Christian
Dior & I," Tcheng introduces viewers to Dior, both the man and
the fashion house he created.
He shows how Simons created his 2012 collection with its
strapless, full-skirted gowns in printed art-inspired patterns,
flowing dresses with belted waists and feminine but sexy pant
"The goal for me as a documentary filmmaker is always to
expand your horizons and in the case of this film getting to
know seamstresses and their work and having access to this
social environment that I really didn't know," Tcheng said.
"This is the closest I've come to a subject," said the
director who has also worked on films about Italian designer
Valentino and fashion Diana Vreeland, who died in 1989.
BALLET AND SHAKESPEARE
Director Jody Lee Lipes takes a fly-on-the-way approach in
"Ballet 422" as New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck, 25,
choreographed an original ballet for the company founded by
George Balanchine in the 1940s.
From the first rehearsal with the dancers of the ballet
called Paz de la Jolla, the 422nd new work for the company,
through costume fittings, lighting changes and music
adjustments, to the jitters of opening night Lipes follows Peck
with seemingly unfettered access through every step of the
He even ventures with Peck into the audience as he watches
their reaction on opening night.
Peck, now a soloist, joined the ballet company in 2007. Paz
de la Jolla, which debuted in January 2013, is his third work
for New York City Ballet.
Audiences also go behind the scenes in director Jeremy
Whelehan's "Now: In the Wings on a World Stage," with double
Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey ("American Beauty" and "The
Usual Suspects") and director Sam Mendes, who won a directing
Oscar in 2000 for "American Beauty," as they take "Richard III"
on the road across three continents.
The production was their first collaboration in more than a
decade. The film follows the tour from London, to Doha, China,
Turkey, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Hong Kong and the United
"There are a multitude of challenges that come with being in
a new theater in an unknown city every few weeks. There were
some tears, but also a lot of laughs," Spacey said about the
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay)