It's the kind of forward-thinking experience David Bowie himself might have predicted. Just for one day, in theaters across the country, a movie about a museum exhibition (featuring the rocker's groundbreaking albums, outlandish costumes, and clips from his artistic videos) will briefly tantalize the world -- and be gone.
Screening only on September 23, the Hamish Hamilton-directed documentary David Bowie Is, serves, above all, as a reminder of Bowie's artistry, his creativity, his fearlessness. If you've forgotten why you loved Ziggy or that eerie experimenter bunking in Berlin, this thrilling bit of cinema will surely lure you back.
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"I wasn't the biggest Bowie fan in the world," says Hamilton, a refreshingly straightforward director who's best known for TV work like The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. "I was drawn to the project because of the music. And the strangeness of the request. Since the filming was of a live event" -- last summer's exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London -- "they were looking for somebody who could do live. That's me. I was sort of a conduit between David's creativity and the genuine passion, knowledge, and care of the curators [Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh]."
Hamilton's movie gracefully captures the exhibit. Crisply shot, briskly paced, it features all things Bowie: handwritten lyrics, ambisexual outfits, drawings and photos of the gender-bending genius, and scores of other objets d'art. (Especially memorable is the startling image of the singer in a gaucho hat, Great Dane by his side.)
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