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Thursday, June 30, 2011

273. Vidal Sassoon The Movie


    Our holiday meant that we missed a couple of movies when they showed in Derby and Nottingham, so tonight I drove off to Leicester's excellent Phoenix Centre to catch up with that old crimper Vidal Sassoon.
    Now I know as much about hairdressing as I do about Indonesian puppet theatre but I have to say this was a riveting 90-minute documentary.
    How on earth it gets 4.7/10 on imdb is completely beyond me.
    Essentially Craig Teper's film is a biopic of one of the most famous names in the world.
    Oddly enough, despite him being a 1970s TV star, few people would recognise his 81-year-old face but everyone would know the name which, in the 1960s, changed fashion forever.
    Sassoon, though, is still amazingly fit and has a fitness regime which has enabled him to look, I kid you not, 30 years younger.
    He has also had a life which is worth every minute of an hour and a half documentary.
    Sassoon grew up in such poor surroundings, he was sent to a Jewish orphanage in London for a large part of his childhood. He was only allowed to see his beloved mother once a month.
    During the second world war he was evacuated to the country and on his return his mum told him she had had a premonition that he would become a hairdresser.
    Thus, at the age of 14 he became a shampoo boy.
    After this introduction Teper attacks his subject chronologically, including Sassoon's time with the Israeli army in 1948, his work with Teasy Weasy and his early salons in bond Street where he first started to come to public attention.
    Then there was Mary Quant, the five-point cut, his expansion into New York and the world of hair products.
    The film also goes in to his family life and has interviews with two of his three wives.
    Some marvellous archive footage is married to interviews of his team in the 1950s and 60s.
    But most revelatory are the words from Sassoon himself.
    My belief is that any documentary is worth its salt if it helps broaden the mind. I now know so much more about one of the icons of the 20th century, so it did its job.
    It was also mighty interesting to someone who has little innate interest in the world of fashion.
    So, whatever the other reviewers are saying, I'm backing Sassoon The Movie and giving it a handsome 8/10.

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273. Vidal Sassoon The Movie


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