A few years ago, the Utah Film Center began partnering with the Grand County Public Library in bringing quality films — including brand-new movies — to the community for free viewing.
The library had long shown movies to its patrons, although the selection was limited due to public performance rights fees. New films were seldom available, and independent films were also excluded.
Since partnering with the Utah Film Center, the range and scope of movie choices has grown tremendously, said library assistant Jessie Magleby, who coordinates the local screenings. Movie attendance increased, necessitating a change in venue from the library to Star Hall, which can seat more people.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, the two partners will be hosting a free screening of the documentary “Iris” – the final film by legendary documentarian Albert Maysles, who also directed “Grey Gardens” and “Gimme Shelter.” The 80-minute film will be shown at Star Hall at 7 p.m.
Utah Film Center Artistic Director Patrick Hubley said this about the film: “Iris is an engaging and entertaining portrait of beloved New York City fashion icon, 93-year old Iris Apfel, whose flamboyant style has been part of the New York fashion scene for decades.”
“Iris” was an official selection of the 2014 New York Film Festival.
Promoters say it is more than a film about fashion.
“This documentary explores creativity and the life of a woman whose passion for fashion, art and culture continues to inspire,” distributor Magnolia Pictures says.
Magleby said they chose “Iris” because they wanted something “whimsical” and “cheerful” to watch in Moab during the wintertime.
“I love this eccentric character who doesn’t play by the rules,” Magleby said. “She’s an exuberant free spirit.”
Apfel has had a passion for individual style – in all its various forms – since she was a child. She helped her boutique-owning mother design store windows; and she went with her father on jobs at his interior design studio.
After opening her own interior design business, Apfel and her husband Carl Patel founded Old World Weavers to manufacture fabrics that Apfel imagined but couldn’t find in other outlets. The couple also restored fabrics of most major museum collections, including the White House.
Apfel collected textiles and artifacts while traveling the world – items she later transformed into clothing and jewelry. She became increasingly admired for her unique style that included mixing flea market finds with designer pieces.
Maysles directed more than 40 films before his death in March – including a collaboration with Paul McCartney to create “The Love We Make” in 2011. The legendary filmmaker received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards, six Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Columbia DuPont Award, and the award for best cinematography at Sundance for “Laylee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton” in 2001. That film was also nominated for an Academy Award. In 2015, Maysles received the National Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama.
“Iris” celebrates eccentric fashion icon
I love this eccentric character who doesn’t play by the rules … She’s an exuberant free spirit.
What: The Utah Film Center and the Grand County Public Library present “Iris”
When: Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.
Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.
Star Hall is located at 159 E. Center St. For more information about upcoming Utah Film Center screenings, go to: utahfilmcenter.org/events/category/moab/upcoming/.