SCATTER MY ASHES AT BERGDORF’S ( Matthew Miele). 93 minutes. Opens Friday (May 17). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's would be moderately watchable couch fodder as an extended episode of the now-defunct Fashion Television. It's got plenty of pretty people, pretty clothes and swatches of info. But as a feature-length doc, it's pure assembly-line dreck.
Matthew Miele's ode to conspicuous consumption looks at high-end Manhattan department store Bergdorf-Goodman. There's everyone from influential tastemaker Linda Fargo, who scours the world's fashion showrooms looking for the next hot designs and designers, to David Hoey, who's responsible for putting together the store's famous window displays.
The talking heads include just about every fashion designer of note, all of whom say that getting into the store, even if it meant passing on competition like Barney's or Saks, was a crucial step in their career. Quelle surprise! C-list celebs like Joan Rivers and Susan Lucci gush over the glamour, and up-and-coming designers dream of finally breaking in.
Narrated for some reason by character actor William Fichtner (perhaps Miele couldn't afford Sarah Jessica Parker), the film has little tension, momentum or personality, unless you count personal shopper to the rich and famous Betty Halbreich, who drops a few choice one-liners.
There are lots of anecdotes, but two stand out: one involving a bag lady and a fur coat, and another concerning Yoko Ono and John Lennon that will horrify PETA.