The Hollywood hit, The Devil Wears Prada, fictionalized the life of legendary fashion magazine editor Anna Wintour. As Editor-in-Chief of Vogue for several decades, Wintour has become the most powerful person in the global fashion industry, and she has long had a reputation for wielding her power coldly — thus the tyrant in the movie portrayed by Meryl Streep. However in The September Issue we get to see the actual Anna Winatour, and surprisingly I found her very likeable. She is filmed overseeing the fattest-ever issue of Vogue (September, 2007), a huge undertaking, while dealing with temperamental photographers, stylists, designers and advertisers. Although billed as a profile of Wintour, this film is really a profile of a magazine. The drama present in making the September issue only rehearses the drama present every month and in almost any large, national magazine. It reminded me of my own time spent at Wired (now owned by the same people who run Vogue). This documentary is about talented people trying to amaze and surprise, who keep seeking excellence, even at the cost of bruised egos. It’s a wonderful inside peek at how great magazines are produced, even if it does not crack the reserve of Anna Wintour. The people around her, who do all the creative work, are very open to the camera, and they make their genius transparent.
The September Issue
2008, 90 min.
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