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GRAY IN L.A.: Why Older Women Should Not Feel The Need To Cut Their Hair

How do you portrait your mother, an independent, successful spirit who raised you as a single career-woman who was never particularly interested in the conventional idea of love and family?
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We are lucky in Los Angeles. We have the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi where we can actually look at famous stars in the flesh and the flash lights and watch some of the very best movies, past and present, from all over the world for free! We had the lovely Los Angeles musical La La Land, http://www.lalaland.movie, and the provocative Elle with Isabelle Huppert The fantastic programs also include a batch of international documentaries.

Here's one of the best. Because when a famous mother and her only -- sometimes estranged -- son, Francesco Carrozzini, the 34-year-old Italian filmmaker and photographer, get together to unravel family secrets, it gets both, sparkling and wistful. And sometimes very naturally very fashionable, when Mom is the incomparable Franca Sozzani (66) and your iconic and beautiful subject of the documentary "Franca: Chaos and Creation".

The petite, super chic woman with her angelic face and signature long, silver blond locks is the famed editor in chief of the fabulous Italian VOGUE since 1988. She is also a rebel and political provocateur who ruffled more than few feathers over the years. Ms. Sozzani found it perfectly appropriate to publish special issues (with much discussed gory "glamour" photos) on plastic surgery, domestic violence, racism and the environment, all the while other fashion mags bored with icy artifice in studio-shots or luxurious robes in the desert and such.

How do you portrait your mother, an independent, successful spirit who raised you as a single career-woman who was never particularly interested in the conventional idea of love and family? You put her in a car and pester her with serious questions she isn't always happy to answer. Franca Sozzani is charming, mysterious, contradictory, rather relaxed, funny and sometimes evasive. She admits that she is not made to have a happy love life, but that's ok because, "life is like a magazine, you turn the pages, and it's over; the next one, please". I personally think, Italian women have a real edge and manage to be very self-assured and cool.

Cutting through the glossy veneer and getting to know your Mom can be an adventure with big surprises. It is actually refreshing to watch here a slightly contentious relationship and a son who is trying to unravel the enigma every mother is in the end to her kids, the beauties and the beasts included. And this documentary is a complex love-letter to a complicated woman who I find very inspirational.

So let's forget about chaos and talk about creativity, the only true lifesaver known to women. Since we have here a handsome and intelligent young man, unafraid to tell the truth, let's introduce a very interesting topic that doesn't go away. Women, men, age and long hair. As we all know, especially women are convinced they know exactly what men love, find interesting, sexy, strong.

But they're wrong a lot -- make that most -- of the times. Here's the truth. A lot of men of all ages love long gray hair! Not just on their Moms!

"I don't understand why older women feel the need to cut their hair and get that well-behaved shorter hairdo. Just don't get it." Thank you Francesco, a LOT of us older women don't get it either.... and isn't that wonderful?

One of the many moving moments is when Franca admits that she is afraid of age. "We all are", says Francesco, "that's the truth!" It is. But let's face the inevitable with a rebellious heart, passion, style -- and real long hair!

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