The Legend of Leigh Bowery.
Directed by Charles Atlas.
Atlas Films/Palm Pictures, New York, 2004.
The Legend of Leigh Bowery is an exploration of Leigh Bowery's outrageous life, a life he lived as a performance. Bowery was a costume/clothing designer, nightclub impresario, performer, and musician whose vision influenced many of today's important artists. He became known to the world at large as the muse and subject of preeminent British painter Lucian Freud.
Directed by Charles Atlas, the film provides an entertaining, uncensored, and multifaceted portrait of Leigh and of the times in which he lived. With interviews of Boy George, Damien Hirst, Michael Clark, Rifat Ozbek, Bella Freud, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Norman Rosenthal of the Royal Academy of Art, the film paints a fascinating picture of an extraordinary artist and opens a window onto the outrageous fashion, art, and nightclub scenes that defined London in the 1980s.
The visual centerpiece of the film is Leigh himself: appearing on British talk show (including a program hosted by Gary Glitter), performing onstage with the Michael Clark Dance Company (for whom he also designed costumes), singing with his band Minty, 'giving birth' to a full grown woman at New York's drag marathon Wigstock, and dancing in London's underground clubs. The film also treats the viewer to a visual feast of Leigh's many fantastic outfits as well as the stunning portraits of Leigh painted by Lucian Freud.
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