This entertaining wee film is of a fantasy world of the traditional world of debutantes that will be completely alien to anyone outside of this part of rural East Texas . It focuses on the annual Rose Festival in Tyler when the local community lavish much of its wealth on one extravagent festival. It makes for compelling viewing simply because its the story of its disarmingly charming 90 year old designer Winn Morton.
Morton is an old-school gentleman who has enjoyed a very successful career designing for Broadway Shows and Circuses. The walls of his spacious house are covered with posters of so many of his successes, plus a few invitations to the White House for good measure.
This quietly spoken somewhat modest man has a remarkable talent for over-the-top style and for the fantastical, and his immense creativity has helped to solidify him as a design genius akin to Bob Mackie (minus all the sexiness). For the past four decades he has been the creative genius behind the Rose festival, and this documentary follows him in the lead of the this year’s event.
Morton’s eyes sparkle when he talks about his passion for his work, but then they water up as he talks about Harry the love of his life for 40 years who died just 12 years ago. It’s totally impossible not to fall in love with Morton too at this point.
The film is with work of Ashley Bush, who is the granddaughter of the late George H.W. Bush, and the videographer is Julian Lefevre who she has subsequently married. Ms Bush can now add award winning film director to her extensive resume as The Queen’s New Clothes, won the People’s Choice Award at the Dallas Film Festival. Bush was evidently very much at home with these debutantes and probably accorded them more respect than other filmmakers may have.
The film is now available to stream on DEKKOO and is a perfect-feel-good film to watch right now