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Antonio Lopez 1970 - Sex, Fashion, & Disco

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Antonio Lopez 1970 - Sex, Fashion, & Disco

"Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco" is not the greatest documentary in the world. In fact, this filmic biography of fashion designer Antonio Lopez and his friends is more of a gushing tribute to an artist and his time. Nevertheless, it's full of star power and insight into a fascinating group of creative bohemians in a charmingly hedonistic decade.

Antonio Lopez came to New York from Puerto Rico at age seven and (according to this neon-glowing account) little held him back from that point onward. He met his great other-half, Juan Ramos—a partner in art, business and sometimes love—at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Before they had time to graduate they were off and running, first working at Women's Wear Daily then shortly after at the New York Times.

People were compelled toward the illustrations Antonio drew and Juan colored. While most fashion drawings of the time where stolid and stayed, like clothing sitting lifelessly on a mannequin, Antonio created drawings that were full of context, action and animate sensuality.

Before the 1960s were over, Antonio and his entourage were off to Paris to create the magic all over again for a international audience. Here they worked with Karl Lagerfeld and discovered a number of models who would go on to make important names for themselves, like Jerry Hall, Tina Chow, Grace Jones and Jessica Lang.

Theirs was a life of dancing, drugs, all-night parties and indiscriminate sex. The taboos of decades past seemed to melt in giant, communal "be-ins," so did rigid ideas of beauty. Antonio seemed to encourage ethnic diversity and non-standard "looks" in his models.

In 2012, a book with a similar name as this movie was published, "Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, & Disco," by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha. But art historian and curator James Crump's portrait of Antonio Lopez is not an adaptation of that book, rather it is a chatty, talking heads documentary full of gushing accolades and famous faces.

The film is so buoyant, in fact, it almost avoids conflict or negativity of any kind. We rarely hear about artistic differences or in fighting, though it's clear these things were happening. And it isn't until the last moments of the film that we learn how AIDS decimated the community, and this is quickly glossed over.

This DVD comes with extra archival and interview footage, additional Film Movement trailers and a bonus short film. "You Can't do Everything at Once, but You Can Leave Everything at Once" is a strange but intriguing 15 minute narrative about a young girl's family life and childhood composed from a variety of archival footage, none of which seems to have anything to actually do with the narrator or her story.


"Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco"
DVD $24.95
www.FilmMovement.com

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