Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's

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“People who take fashion seriously are idiots,” Joan Rivers says near the beginning of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, Matthew Miele’s documentary about Manhattan’s venerated department store. And for the next 90 minutes, you hear from an array of such idiots, gushing about Bergdorf Goodman as if it were the eighth wonder of the world. The film’s tone is reverential, likely understood by viewers who prioritize style above their own mothers but probably regarded as a bit silly to those who drape themselves in Target. Miele delineates the history of the grandiose store that takes up an entire block of 5th Avenue, often with elegant black-and-white archival shots or simply drawn timelines. The film’s title is taken from a New Yorker cartoon, as well as a related anecdote from Susan Lucci -- and while it’s nice that apparently many clients have such passion and loyalty, they only makes you think of Rivers’ opening quip. (TO)
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