The Legend of Leigh Bowery

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Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 15th May 2002

Distributed by: Palm Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Boy George as Himself

The Legend of Leigh Bowery Movie Review


I'm not sure if there's much of a "legend" around Leigh Bowery, but for the uninitiated (and I figure that means about 99.9% of you reading this), Leigh Bowery was a club kid who stormed London with his gender-bending attire and outrageous selection of hats.

Here he's re-imagined as an "outrageous and outlandish artist" whose band Minty was prone to incorporate stunts like having Bowery lie on the ground in a dress, scream, and have a "blood"-covered naked woman crawl out from between his splayed legs as if she'd just been born. Here he's eulogized repeatedly by his friends and contemporaries -- all of whom try to re-up one another with a more outrageous costume than the previous person on camera -- with everyone waxing upon how important Bowery was to "the scene."

I've never been one for performance art or toilet-seat-as-headdress costuming -- and it's a bit strained to say that Bowery's ridiculous outfits had any effect on the legitimate design community. Boy George seems to be the only person genuinely inspired today to pick up Bowery's fashion torch, but if is that something anybody wants?

As gay icon, Bowery (who died in 1994 of AIDS-related complications) has more of a claim, but what's his legacy? That anything can become a hat? Hell, when my one-year old daughter wears a box on her head, I don't rush to call it art.


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