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Chop Suey

A beautiful film of bits and pieces from the life and work of Bruce Weber set to music from Chopin to Cole Porter. Back in 2001 it was the first he’d made since his Chet Baker doc ‘Let’s Get Lost’ thirteen years earlier. It’s a scrapbook of possible films, friends, inspirations, distractions and obsessions – all presented by Weber’s comforting voice. The film emerged from a book of photographs by Weber of a young Wisconsin boxer, Peter Johnson (below), and it’s to Johnson, whom he holds dear, that Weber addresses his memories.

In the hands of another, this might  seem like ornate name-dropping (from Diana Vreeland to Robert Mitchum, George Cukor to Frances Faye), but Weber’s eyes are open. He’s aware of his fascination with the perfect male body (‘we sometimes photograph things we can never be’) and his wonder extends to a British explorer with whom he ‘spent the afternoon drinking tea and talking about camels’. The relaxed mood is inclusive, never exclusive, and that’s what makes it such a great, lazy, inspiring watch.

Release details

Release date: Friday July 4 2008
Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bruce Weber
Screenwriter: text written by Bruce Weber, Maribeth Edmonds
Cast: Peter Johnson
Frances Faye
Herbie Fletcher
Dibi Fletcher
Christian Fletcher
Nathan Fletcher
Rickson Gracie and family
Robert Mitchum
Wilfred Thesiger
Jan Michael Vincent
Diana Vreeland
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