Last week the legendary documentarian Albert Maysles passed away at the age of 88, just days after one of his pinnacle films, Grey Gardens, received a Criterion Collection re-release and remastering.
But one of the films he left behind him was Iris, about the life of fashion icon Iris Apfel. Herself 93-years-old, Apfel is an interior designer, fashion mogul and businesswoman living in New York. Maysles film profiles Apfel’s creativity and her struggles up through the Great Depression and more. Here’s the full synopsis:
Iris pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris’ advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. Iris portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you’re lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.
We first caught up with Iris at the New York Film Festival in 2014, where Kyle Turner was lukewarm about the film in comparison to Grey Gardens but said it was pleasant to watch. Iris now opens in limited release April 29.
Iris is not Maysles’s last film. That will be In Transit, which was just selected to have its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Watch the trailer for Iris below: