November 21, 2003

Gawking At The Rich

Goodness, the fabulously wealthy really are such strange and fascinating beasts. Sex tapes and court settlements and all that. If like and Megastyles you've been watching the MTV reality show Rich Girls like the trainwreck it is, completely unable to look away (oh Ally, dear sweet dumbass Ally), may we point you to the documentary Born Rich currently airing on HBO made by Jaime Johnson the Johnson & Johnson heir.

First off, let's establish that Jaime Johnson is no Errol Morris or Fred Wisemann. But what he lacks in properly grave voice-over abilities, he makes up in, well not to put a fine point on it, money. The docu looks great, it's well shot and nicely edited which Cinecultist suspects has to do with the caliber of technicians Master Johnson was able to hire for the project. But not to fault him for that, it seems like a good use of the budget to us. The movie also offers an intriguing insight into the inner life of the rich because Johnson's own status as a major American heir allows him a different kind of emotional access with his subjects. As the old Wisemann adage says, "Point a camera long enough at people, and they will spill their guts." (Okay, CC just made that up, but it sounds like something Wisemann might say and it's true in this case.)

Highlights of the film: getting to see how S.I. Newhouse IV was beat to a pulp by his prep school classmates and how Ivanka Trump (like Cinecultist) had Beverly Hills 90210 trading cards mounted on the wall of her childhood bedroom. Except that CC's bedroom window looked out on our Nor Cal backyard and Ivanka's looked out on Central Park from 32 floors up. Only a slight difference, right? Fascinating stuff.

Posted by karen at November 21, 2003 8:02 AM