Documentary ‘The Princess’, about Diana, puts the viewer in focus – Culture

The last thing the world needs, you might think, is another Princess Diana documentary. It’s a fair thought considering that, nearly 25 years after his death, his life and impact are still remembered in the media. Whether it’s a magazine cover or a book claiming to have new revelations or just an image of Kristen Stewart in a recreation of her wedding dress for the Spencer movie or Elizabeth Debicki sporting the “revenge dress” for the series The Crownthe culture continues to have an insatiable appetite for all things Diana.

And yet the documentary filmmaker Ed Perkins managed to find a new way in: turning the lens on us.

“The obvious truth is that Diana’s story is probably one of the most told and retold in the last 30 years,” Perkins said in an interview this week. “We only felt it was worth adding to that conversation if we really felt like we had a new perspective to offer.”

The Princess (HBO Max) has neither testimonials nor the traditional narrator. Instead, he tells the story of his public life using only archival footage from news, talk shows and radio shows. It starts from the moment his first steps are followed by the cameras after news of his real relationship until the aftermath of his death in 1997.

Perkins never met Diana. He was 11 years old when the princess died and remembers his mother waking him up with tears in her eyes. For the next week, they were glued to the television, tuned in to the news leading up to the funeral, as much of the world was. At the time, he recalled feeling confused and surprised by what he said was a “not-quite-British depression of sadness”.

She was someone most people only knew about through the media, he thought. Why then were they acting as if they had lost a mother or a sister? Why did millions applaud his marriage? Why, for 17 years, did everyone dissect “everything she did, everything she said, everything she wore”?

“There is something in Diana’s story that always felt strangely personal to me,” he said. “I think millions of people around the world have a similar type of relationship. There’s something about her or what she stood for that stuck with a lot of people and became part of the collective consciousness or understanding of who we were.”

These were questions that lingered over the years. And at the beginning of the pandemic and the lockdowns brought on by Covid-19, he and his team decided to try to answer why. As you can imagine, the archive of one of the most photographed people in history was huge. For six months, eight to 12 hours a day, Perkins combed through archives for moments that were still representative.

“Often it was about trying to find subtext and body language,” he said. “Diana it’s almost like a silent movie star. She did not speak publicly much throughout her public life. And yet, I think she was incredibly deft, almost masterful, in the way that she projected her own public/private story publicly, a medium in which she tried to tell us how she was feeling.”

He also used the many hours of telephone audience commentary that aired on British radio shows over the years to function as a sort of Greek chorus.

The film, which received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, is trying to take the audience on an emotional and intellectual journey as it unfolds in the present time. For Perkins, it’s not just a historical document either: it’s the origin story of some things that happen today.

“I want the film to allow us to turn the camera on all of us and force us to ask some tough questions about our relationship, yes, with Diana.Perhaps more broadly, our relationship with the real family and, more broadly, what our relationship to a celebrity is,” Perkins said. “So the most important and interesting – but perhaps most difficult – thing about talking about this story is what was our role in that story? What was our complicity in this tragic tale?”

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

With Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode, The Last Night is the movie of the Super Debut. The Price of Truth, a drama starring Mark Ruffalo, also premieres on Telecine

Great musicians will meet at Telecine Touch on Tuesday, September 27th, to celebrate Singer Day. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.