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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Submitted by admin on July 28, 2010 – 10:05 pmNo Comment

Leon casino, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (What’s with the ampersand in this film and Cats & Dogs?) charts the relationship between two key cultural influences from the early 20th-century. The movie posits that while Chanel was a benefactress to the then man-without-a-country Stravinsky (and his family) they have a blind moment of passion.

CC&IS finds a mother lode of emotional context to mine and does so far more convincingly than last years Coco Before Chanel. Who knows what the real Coco was like. Coco Before Chanel has cute pixie Audrey Tatou as the designer while CC&IS demands a Coco with more baggage and a harder slant to life.

CC&IS opens with two significant sequences. The first depicts a sexual liaison between Chanel and Stravinsky that ends with a monetary transaction. The second sequence, one which places Chanel in the audience and Stravinsky behind the stage, recreates the debut performance of The Rites of Spring in a French theater and an actual riot that ensued. The year is 1913. When we’re reunited with Coco and Igor again World War One has passed, they’re both in Paris, Coco at the beginning of her famed fashion career and Stravinsky an expatriate with his family in tow.

Performances by Anna Mouglalis (Chanel) and Mads Mikkelson (Stravinsky, familiar to audiences from his turns in Casino Royale and Flame and Citron) elicit the appropriate unrequited feelings necessary. The opening and beginning fixates on a trippy graphic that seems to wield a spell over the viewer.

There’s always the constant sense of creation from these two characters, perhaps a sort of creative frenzy whether composing music, designing clothes, berating employees or expressing emotion in brief moments of love.

- Michael Bergeron

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