Matt Tyrnauer's feature film, Valentino: The Last Emperor, has been called "flawless" by Richard Corliss of Time, and a "must-see" by The New York Times. Valentino premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and won the top documentary prize at the Chicago Film Festival. It was one of the highest-grossing documentaries in 2010, and was short-listed for an Academy Award for best documentary feature. He is currently at work on other film projects, including the HBO dramatic adaptation of his Vanity Fair article "Once Upon a Time in Beverly Hills" which he is set to direct, as well as documentary projects, including Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, about urbanization and the work of Jane Jacobs, and Scotty, about Scotty Bowers and the secret history of sex in Hollywood in the pre-Stonewall era. Tyrnauer's writing career began at Spy magazine and The New York Observer. Tyrnauer is a partner in Altimeter Films, which he co-founded with Corey Reeser. Altimeter is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, specializing in documentary and narrative film, television, and branded content. Tyrnauer is also an award-winning journalist, who has written many feature articles for Vanity Fair, where he has been editor-at-large, special correspondent and is now a contributing editor. His articles on a wide range of topics, including Valentino Garavani, Marlene Dietrich, Martha Stewart, Siegfried and Roy, Philippe Starck, Frank Gehry, green-design pioneer William McDonough, writer Bret Easton Ellis, producer Robert Evans have appeared in Vanity Fair and other publications, including GQ, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, L'Uomo Vogue, and Numero.
Tyrnauer, a native of Los Angeles, attended Crossroads School in Los Angeles and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he apprenticed under the film professor Joseph W. Reed, a pioneer in American film scholarship. Tyrnauer aided Reed in his research on American masters John Ford, Howard Hawks, Michael Curtiz and Robert Aldrich. Tyrnauer's honors thesis was an in-depth analysis of the films of Robert Aldrich.