Chop Suey (2001) Trailer
Trailer for the documentary Chop Suey.
Filmmaker Bruce Weber, whose last feature-length documentary was the award-winning Let's Get Lost in 1988 (about jazz great Chet Baker), returns with this fascinating look at his life and career. Starting off as a film about model Peter Johnson, whom Weber snatched from a high school wrestling team and turned into a star for Ralph Lauren and other fashionistas, Chop Suey is a tasty mix of vintage color and black-and-white footage, still photos of everyone from Alfed Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe to Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable, and insightful narration by Weber and Johnson about modeling, family, and the cult of celebrity. The film goes all over the place, but every side adventure is a worthy one. Teri Shepherd, manager and longtime partner of nightclub favorite Frances Faye, shares endearing stories of their exciting relationship; wrestler Rickson Gracie and surfer Christian Fletcher discuss what it was like becoming (homoerotic) sex symbols as seen through Weber's lens; aging explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger and his book "Arabian Sands" are featured; and former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland allows Weber in to shoot her fabulously tacky apartment. Other highlights include Robert Mitchum singing a duet with Dr. John and Weber talking about working with Jan Michael Vincent.