Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)

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Released 27-Mar-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 86:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
Frédéric Tcheng

Madman Entertainment
Starring Fred Astaire
Richard Avedon
David Bailey
Lillian Bassman
Marisa Berenson
Pierre Bergé
Manolo Blahnik
June Burns Bove
Felicity Clark
Bob Colacello
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Paul Cantelon

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     What is it about fashion magazine editors that requires them to be so ruthlessly domineering and bullying to their minions? After seeing The September Issue and learning that Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour was used as the basis for the Meryl Streep character in The Devil Wears Prada along comes another documentary to show that Wintour is just the latest in the line of uncompromising fashion figureheads.

     Diana Vreeland ruled Vogue magazine with an iron fist in the 1960s. By that time she was a woman in her senior years; having been born in Paris at the turn of the century she had experienced Paris during the Belle Epoque, America during the jazz age and spent 25 years as an editor of Harper's Bazaar. After being fired from Vogue magazine she spent her later years bringing fashion joy to the masses as the curator of costumes at the New York Metropolitan Museum Of Art.

     This documentary is a tribute to Vreeland and her unquestionably dedicated life lived according to fashion. It is thin on the ground when it comes to her role as a wife and mother to her two sons. One suspects that when forced to choose between maternal instincts and fashion the latter won hands down.

     Whatever we may think of Vreeland as a person there is no doubt that she was a cornerstone of modern fashion, taking it from something stuck at the back of the society pages to something within reach of the ordinary mortal. The title of the documentary - The Eye Has to Travel - expresses the most important aspect of her approach to magazine fashion shoots and stories. There must be a magic in the image that conveys a sense of excitement and adventure. In her years at Vogue magazine she revitalised and forever changed the art of magazine photography and fashion layouts. Frequently she drove the owners mad with her grand visions for photo shoots. She would send models and her preferred photographers including Richard Avedon and David Bailey to far-flung locations including the Middle East and Japan to create spectacular stories to illustrate the fashion. She also brought a rock 'n' roll ethos to the magazine bringing in exciting new models who didn't fit the traditional style of the past. Twiggy, Cher and Barbara Streisand all modelled for the magazine. One would suspect that Vreeland would have little time for the pretty vacant of modern modelling. She looked for girls with some special spark who could light up the spread, not look fashionably bored.

     The film is composed of acres of historical footage as well as the "recreation" of an interview she gave for her memoirs. When actress Annette Miller begins to speak as Vreeland you can't help but think she is a poor actress for over accentuating the script. That is, until you hear the real Vreeland speak. It is as if she invented the multi syllable "Darrrling" and the air kiss. She was over-the-top, preposterous and utterly compelling.

     The film gathers together a host of icons from the fashion and performance world from Angelica Huston andMarisa Berinson to film director Joel Schumacher and shoe designer Manolo Blahnik.

     Although I suspect 10 minutes in a room with Vreeland would be enough to do your head in the film is an always intriguing portrait of this one-of-a-kind woman.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel comes to DVD in a 1.78:1 transfer consistent with the original cinema/television aspect ratio. It is 16×9 enhanced.

     The film was shot on high-definition digital video and looks adequate throughout. It is fairly sharp even in the talking heads. The old footage looks its age and has not been restored for this film. These scenes are appropriate to the era and original source material, particularly the old television interviews.

     There are no technical defects with the transfer. The colours are bright and vibrant and the flesh tones are accurate.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel comes with a English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack running at 448 Kb/s.

     This is perfectly adequate for a documentary which consists largely of interview material.

     The dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The surround sound and sub-woofer are not particularly needed however that is no criticism of the film itself.

     The music by Paul Cantelon is entertaining and adds to the quality of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Deleted Scenes

     The only real extra is a series of deleted scenes. There is no particular order to these scenes and the sound quality varies, particularly with the extra material featuring Angelica Huston which is affected by the twin perils of a strong breeze and a nosy dog!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.


     The Region 1 version is the same. Buy local.


     The story of Diana Vreeland is an interesting one even if the fashion world leaves you cold. One of a kind she forever changed the industry with her eccentric but always intuitive approach to magazine spreads.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Friday, May 31, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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