Manolo: the Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

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In the 1968 animated short The Critic, befuddled audience member Mel Brooks offers the abstract filmmaker a bit of off-camera advice: “Do something constructive. Make a shoe.” Better yet, make a documentary about a shoemaker. Dubbed “the Emperor of Shoes,” highest-priced cobbler Manolo Blahnik is the subject of this lighthearted portrait from director Michael Roberts. Not unlike his shoes, it’s beautiful to behold and at times uncomfortable to experience. Is there a bigger group of self-inflated gasbags on the planet than clothes hangers and the people who ornament them? You say you want a revolution? Paloma Picasso remembers being overdressed for the Paris riots in ’68. For Anna Wintour, it was a time when “hairdressers were sitting down with Duchesses for the first time.” How’s that for Fashion Weak? Recreations of the master’s past are laughably bad: a numbing state of self-congratulatory and overly theatrical theatricality appears to have stricken all participants. So why was I never bored? (2017) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 29 minutes
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