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THE LEGEND OF LEIGH BOWERY
USA: Palm Pictures
Cast: Leigh Bowery, Rachel Auburn, Lee Benjamin, Bronwyn Bowery, Ncola Bowery, Tom Bowery, Michael Bracewell, Les Child, Michael Clark, William Feaver, Sophie Fiennes, Bella Freud, Boy George, Robyn Healy, Damien Hirst, David Holah, Ann Holt, Michael Kostiff, Lorcan O'Neill, Rifat Ozbek, Alan Pillay, Mr Pearl, Norman Rosenthal, Stella Stein, Stevie Stewart, Sue Tilley, Richard Torry, Donald Urquhart, Robert Violette, Cerith Wyn Evans, Yvette
Director: Charles Atlas
USA: 82 mins
USA Release Date: 28 November 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
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 pre-eminent 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 one of Britain's greatest artists, Lucian Freud.
THE LEGEND OF LEIGH BOWERY provides an honest, entertaining, and authentic account of Bowery's work, and explores its impact on a culture of decadence and outrage, an impact that still reverberates in today's art and fashion world.