McQueen - This Articulate Movie Rocks
Dir: Ian Bonhote, Peter Ettedgui
Starring Lee Alexander McQueen, Isabella Blow, Many Models
Much like Senna from a few years back, McQueen is a documentary that you don’t need to know anything about, or have any affinity for its essential subject matter (in this case, the world of fashion), but is a film that will completely lure you in and totally captivate you from its first frames. A biopic of the late designer Lee Alexander McQueen, it is a brilliantly captured study of a man, an industry and in many ways a time, that engages to the point of being ultimately very moving, and rewarding.
More than anything, the life and art of Alexander McQueen (he dropped the Lee early on professionally) is told here in a really articulate way, not just aurally by the friends and collaborators on screen, but visually articulate as well, with the co-directors seeking to use a vast amount of archive footage to express the stories and ambitions behind the work. The notorious sight of a model being spray painted by robots in one of McQueen’s shows may have left the layman confused and uncertain of this high-fallutin’ world of high fashion, but this film leads you to understand the intent behind it, the ideas, the dreams even of an artist fighting to express himself. It is, in that sense, remarkably accessible and completely winning.
Thankfully, with McQueen growing up in the age of video recording, filmmakers Bonhote and Ettedgui found themselves with a wealth of material to chose from, a good deal of it of McQueen himself, who defies the image of haute couture to remain first and foremost a gay East End lad, one who just wanted to change the world around him. He comes across as an immensely likeable, sweet guy, whose work dazzles and whose tragic end just seems so sad and unfair.
Whether you know your Givenchy from your Primark – McQueen is a brilliant piece of work all by itself. (Great Michael Nyman score to boot!)
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