The Legend of Leigh Bowery (2001)

Genres - Culture & Society, History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Gay & Lesbian Films, Performance Art, Social History  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - France, UK, USA  |  
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Born to a middle-class family in suburban Australia, Leigh Bowery moved to London, England, in the early '80s with a desire to re-invent himself. Always fascinated with fashion and the expressive possibilities of clothing, Bowery quickly became a noted figure in London's image-obsessed "New Romantic" scene, where (as Marcus Bracewell put it) "getting ready [to go out] became an art form." While Bowery's elaborate creations were striking, Bowery designed clothing as an art form rather than as salable fashion items -- creating costumes for theater pieces, performance art pieces, or his own appearances at clubs, Bowery used clothing to confront, confuse and challenge those around him, rather than to simply adorn the body. Bowery later expanded on his philosophy and approach with his own nightclub, Taboo, and a musical group, Minty. Bowery died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1994, but this documentary -- which features interviews with his friends, family and colleagues, including Boy George, who has since staged a musical based in part on Bowery's life -- examines his life and times, as well as the lasting impact of his work. The Legend of Leigh Bowery received its world premiere in the spring of 2002 at the It's All True Documentary Film Festival on Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Keywords

art-scene, burlesque, costume, eccentric, entrepreneur, fashion-designer, free-spirit, model [fashion], performance-art, perversion, provocative, retrospective, show-business