|Genre: Documentary, Biography, Fantasy, Gay/Lesbian, Society|
Plot: Bruce Weber's discovery of a gorgeous young hunk named Peter Johnson was the beginning of a marvellous collaboration that continued over four years. Plucking the young man from over a thousand boys in training as wrestlers, Weber turned Johnson into a highly-paid photographic model for Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Karl Lagerfeld. Chop Suey uses still photographs and live action footage to chart Johnson's transformation from a pretty young boy into a homoerotic icon.
But the film does much more than such a simple synopsis indicates. An autobiographical work, the film examines Weber's own career as photographer and filmmaker by bringing together, in a structure that replicates the mix of ingredients suggested by the title, a complex collage of images, ideas, reflections, personages and film materials. Weber's voice-over narration-garrulously personal and casually reflective-guides the viewer as he introduces a diverse collection of characters, including singer Frances Faye, Robert Mitchum, fashion guru Diana Vreeland and desert explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger. Sometimes interacting with them as interviewer, Johnson acts as a polished, charming and confident participant.
The glories of this film are many, and their easy fit together is the result of the brilliant editing. This is
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