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The British Guide to Showing Off (2011)

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British artist and living legend Andrew Logan, loved the world over by celebrities and misfits alike, takes us under his glittering wing and inside his outrageous, anarchic and spectacular ... See full summary »

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A filmed record of the 1978 "Alternative Miss World" beauty pageant held in a circus tent on Clapham Common in South London.

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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Andrew Logan ...
Himself
...
Himself
Grayson Perry ...
Himself
Zandra Rhodes ...
Herself
...
Himself
Michael Davis ...
Himself
Quentin Logan ...
Miss Elementary My Dear
Janet Slee ...
Miss Hokusai
Andrey Bartenev ...
Miss Bubbles of Hope
Stuart Hopps ...
Miss Sea Sea Sur Mer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rachel Freire ...
Herself
Daniel Lismore ...
Daniel Lismore
...
Himself
...
Miss National Geographic
Veronica Thompson ...
Miss Fancy Chance
Edit

Storyline

British artist and living legend Andrew Logan, loved the world over by celebrities and misfits alike, takes us under his glittering wing and inside his outrageous, anarchic and spectacular costume pageant: the Alternative Miss World Show. As the Shows master of ceremonies and ringmaster, Logan is the high priest of an esteemed congregation. He describes the Show as his most important artwork; a fabulous living sculpture that spans forty years of arts and culture. Using live observational camera, archive and exuberant animation, this documentary charts the mounting of the 2009 Show, interwoven with its history, the rise, fall and rediscovery, of both the event and the artist at its center. Written by Anonymous

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For the outsider in all of us


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11 November 2011 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Colorful Biography of the Originator of the Alternative Miss World
7 January 2015 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Born into a suburban family, Andrew Logan spent his early years wanting to be a vicar; the idea of taking services and organizing an annual fete proved exceptionally appealing. Eventually he became a sculptor with a talent for self-publicity; his radical designs for the reconstructed roof garden at the old Derry & Toms store in Kensington High Street attracted the attention of the media (even though they were later taken down).

In later years, Logan - together with his longtime partner Michael Davis - has become famous as the driving force behind the Alternative Miss World competition, of which there have been twelve since the early Seventies. Dedicated to magnificent costumes, as well as freedom of self-expression, the contest has attracted regular participants, including film director Derek Jarman, actor Jenny Runacre, Logan's adopted sister Janet Slee, as well as various members of Logan's immediate family. Celebrity guests attracted to the event have included Richard O'Brien (of ROCKY HORROR SHOW fame), David Hockney and Fenella Fielding.

Jes Benstock's documentary traces the history of the event, intertwined with cinéma-vérité footage charting the organization of the 2009 pageant. With little or no financial resources at their disposal, Logan and Davis mostly rely on gate receipts for survival; on the one occasion they were in severe debt, they had to rely on the generosity of financial angels (like Hockney) to bail them out. Nonetheless they put a lot of time and effort into the event; in collaboration with long-term choreographer Stuart Hopps, they manage to create a pageant that remains in the memory of all those fortunate enough to attend.

In sociological terms, THE British GUIDE TO SHOWING OFF tells us a lot about changing fashions in popular culture. In the punk era of the late Seventies, celebrities such as Molly Parkin flourished; many of the costumes bore the stamp of punk fashion, with plenty of black make- up and ornaments made out of household items. A decade later the Alternative Miss World could be seen as a resistance against the notorious Clause 28, a restrictive piece of legislation instituted by the Thatcher government to ban the so-called "positive" promotion of gay issues. Nowadays the Alternative Miss World has become a regular event for those desiring to pursue different lifestyles; in a London notable for the variety of its cultures, it perhaps cannot be described as "alternative" any more.

Logan himself comes across as a serious artist dedicated to popularizing his work - not only through the pageant, but through a museum dedicated to displaying his exhibits which has now opened in North Wales. Benstock's film characterizes him as immensely likable, even if he appears to leave most of the organization of the event to his long-suffering partner.


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