Pick of the Day: Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

I caught the biopic Coco Before Chanel at the RPL last winter. It starred Audrey Tautou in the title role of the famous French designer, and traced her life from time spent in a nunnery as a young girl to the first successful show she had as a designer of haute couture.

This movie functions as a sequel of sorts. Anna Mouglalis stars this time as Chanel. Newly wealthy, she makes the aquaintence of exiled Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelson). Forced from his homeland by the Russian Revolution, Stavinksy lives penniless in Paris following the scandal of his 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring. Chanel subsequently invites Stravinsky, his ill wife and their four children to live with her in her villa.

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky screens tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9:15 p.m. Here’s the trailer.

Also playing tonight at the RPL at 7 p.m. is the Spanish film Agora. Set in 4th century A.D., it’s directed by Alejandro Amenabar and details the life of the celebrated astronomer and mathematician Hypatia. Living in Alexandria in the waning days of the Roman Empire, she is witness to a rising tide of Christian fundamentalism that ultimately results in the destruction of Alexandria’s famous library which was then revered as the repository “of all the knowledge in the world.”

Once that happened, of course, it was all down hill, and the Western world was plunged in the millenia-long Dark Ages where science and rational thought were supplanted by religious fervour and mindless superstition. Here’s the trailer.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

3 thoughts on “Pick of the Day: Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky”

  1. I saw Agora when it first came out in NYC and loved Weisz’ performance as Hypatia. Amenabar distorts some history in service to his art (the Library didn’t end that way and Synesius wasn’t a jerk), but that’s what artists do. I don’t go to the movies for history. For people who want to know more about the historical Hypatia, I highly recommend a very readable biography “Hypatia of Alexandria” by Maria Dzielska (Harvard University Press, 1995). I also have a series of posts on the historical events and characters in the film at my blog (http://faithljustice.wordpress.com) – not a movie review, just a “reel vs. real” discussion.

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