Well, given that it’s taken me five days to report back about the fabulissimo New York City opening of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary,”Valentino: The Last Emperor,” I can only conclude that the event’s glittery charms have magicked me into slackjawed catatonia. From the roiling contagion of the press corps waiting outside the Museum of Modern Art where the screening was held, to the wonderfully strange seating juxtapositions inside the theater (eg, rocker Michael Stipe sitting near Regis Philbin; a leatherclad biker “bear” hovering in proximity to the editor-in-chief of Town and Country), I was agog. Put me in a room wherein one of the socialite couples bear the first names Tinsley and Topper, and you have lovingly scratched this dog’s skritchy spot. I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Pops. Satiety and gratitude exude from my pores like a powerful musk.
My favorite scene in the film, having seen it three times now, is still the one where Valentino’s co-hort Giancarlo Giammetti tells the world’s greatest living couturier that he is “too tan.” The scene draws its strength from the fact that Valentino is, not to put too fine a point on it, orange.
Asked to sum up the Valentinian worldview in a single sentence, I would refer you to this line of dialogue from the film:
“Girls, but some sequins can’t hurt.”
Viewers of this movie are brought very, very close to the beating heart of the sequin.