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Juan Carlos Hernández
This documentary explores the life and times of artist/designer/performer/provocateur Leigh Bowery. He designed costumes and performed with the enfante terrible of British dance Michael Clark, designed one of a kind outrageous costumes and creations for himself, ran one of the most outrageous clubs of 1980s London club scene Taboo (later immortalized in Boy George's Broadway musical, and was the muse of the great British painter Lucian Freud. The film includes interviews with Damien Hirst, Bella Freud, Cerith Wyn Evans, Boy George, and his widow Nicola Bowery. The sound score is by Richard Torrey, who performed with Bowery in their band Minty. Written by
This short film, coming a decade after Bowery's untimely death from AIDS-related meningitis at the age of 33, presents an honest and interesting portrait of a clearly complex figure under all the glitter, high energy, and mad costumes. A larger than life image took him from Australia to the London gay clubland, costume design, and performance art (including a long association with the superb Michael Clark Dance Company), eventually culminating in the series of astonishing and touching portraits painted of him by Lucien Freud in 1990.
This film attempts to give a balanced view of its subject through interviews with his family, friends, colleagues and widow Nicola (a lady with odd fashion sense!). I think it does the job pretty well, and the chance to see so many clips (including interviews, bits from Because We Must, and footage of Minty) and so many costumes more than justifies an entire film on this bizarre kid from Down Under.
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