Critical Condition: Suited

Suited (SoHo, 8.30 Wednesday)*

“Clothes make the man and a host of other gender identities in Suited, an HBO documentary from boom operator-turned-director Jason Benjamin. Following a handful of patrons of Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn clothier specialised in bespoke suits for gender non-confirming clients, the glossily if not entirely smoothly assembled feature explores how notions of fashion, appearance and identity can be profoundly interdependent. With Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, the brains behind Girls (on which Benjamin worked for years) on board as producers and an accessible format, this should do well not only on HBO but at festivals as well, even beyond the queerosphere.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

Slickly upbeat as it guides six contrasting clients through the measuring and fitting process, Benjamin’s film nonetheless gleans enough pointed personal testimonies along the way to add human weight to its makeover-TV format … Most sketchily featured is the story of Dunham’s younger sibling Grace who is pursuing a purely androgynous identity and, to that end, wishes for a ‘dark wool suit … to run around in.’ Perhaps for fear of inviting critical charges of nepotism, the film doesn’t delve much deeper than that; with scarcely enough time to braid the remaining five stories, Dunham’s seems at once intriguing and extraneous.” — Variety.

“The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., a week ago provides an accidental juxtaposition that gives Suited an extra layer of poignancy. Many who died had, like the Suited clients, long felt marginalised, and for L.G.B.T. Americans, the massacre has become a symbol of the violence and hidden hatreds that are part of everyday life, while also accentuating the importance of safe spaces like Bindle & Keep.” — New York Times.

  • Suited originally was scheduled for June 29 but a late programming change means it will now screen tonight, pre-empting Nothing Left Unsaid, which will air next week.
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