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The Legend of Leigh Bowery

Charles Atlas , Leigh Bowery , Charles Atlas  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Atlas, Leigh Bowery, Michael Bracewell, Sophie Fiennes, Bella Freud
  • Directors: Charles Atlas
  • Producers: Lucy Sexton, Sylvie Blum
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000255LH0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,324 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Legend of Leigh Bowery" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Comes in Plastic Sleeve

From the Back Cover

"The Legend of Leigh Bowery" is an in-depth and revealing tribute to an outrageous and outlandish artist. Whether he was making headdresses out of toilet seats, or giving birth to a full-grown woman in a nightclub, Bowery defined London's culture of outrage and influenced a generation of artists and designers on both sides of the Atlantic. He was also the muse and model for preeminent British painter Lucian Freud. Features appearances by Boy George, Damian Hirst, Bella Freud, Michael Clark, Rifat Ozbek and many others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting December 15, 2004
I knew only a little about Leigh Bowery going in, having seen some of Lucien Freud's large scale paintings of him, and also seeing WIGSTOCK the drag queen documentary in which Leigh Bowery makes an astonishing appearance, giving "birth" to Nicola, his assistant, through an amazing theatrical stunt. I couldn't believe my eyes in either case.

The film is terrifically exciting both as information and as entertainment. Atlas has an artist's eye and, or so it seems, a tremendously sympathetic, yet dispassionate, insight into the personality of the mysterious and enigmatic Leigh Bowery. Bowery emerged rapidly from what must have seemed in comparison the very outback of ustralia to the trendy, gender-bending nightclubs of 80s London, one of which he started himself--the infmaous TABOO. He wore a variety of wigs and costumes, but that's understating it, because the costumes took on a life on their own and indeed no other human could have worn them. Interviewees claim that, even though some of the costumes were painful in the extreme to wear for more than a few minutes, Bowery carried on for hours in them, having the time of his life.

One nice thing is that Atlas has footage from every period of Bowery's artistic life, from his challenging one-man show at Anthony D'Offay gallery, in which viewers could watch him through a one way mirror, preen and primp himself all day on a chaise longue to die for, all the way to his last performances with the rock group MINTY. His death from AIDS is treated very sparsely and, I thought, most movingly. One minute he was here, the next he was gone, poof! Like a dandelion.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best DVD I've Seen This Year September 6, 2005
I bought this on a whim, really. I had very little knowledge of Leigh Bowery, only tidbits I picked up from other artists who were inspired by him. Watching this movie is at turns absolutely hilarious, diabolical, grotesquely fascinating, uplifting, and sad, but ultimately hugely entertaining. No need for me to go into details about the man here, it's the documentary that's in question. It is very well done. Lots of video and film from the era, new interviews with his associates, and the bonus features are incredible, almost an entire movie's worth alone. For anyone with a passing interest in fashion, performance art, or the club scene of the Eighties and early Ninties, this is required viewing. Leigh Bowery lived his life as Art. This documentary is an informative and entertaining testament to that. Recommended very highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Fame Monster August 17, 2010
"Legend of Leigh Bowery" is a fascinating documentary about the late Australian performance artist. Bowery is not so well-known here in the US, yet his outrageous looks/performances have influenced fellow Australian diva Sia (We Are Born),'80s icon Boy George (Colour By Numbers),the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen (Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation), as well as performance artist/diva Lady GaGa (The Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]). Leigh Bowery specialized in the monstrous and outrageous, yet he posed for earthy paintings by Lucian Freud.

Leigh Bowery began in rural Australia, raised by strict members of the Salvation Army... yet he was attracted to art. He enjoyed fashion design and the extremes of body art. Shock value was his stock in trade--be he prancing around nude with a fake female genitalia (made by painfully modifying his own), giving "birth" onstage to his assistant, anything involving body fluids, or singing about being a "worthless man" in a lesbian bar. Bowery had much in common with the otherworldly divo Klaus Nomi (The Nomi Song - The Klaus Nomi Odyssey). Both were ill at ease with their own bodies. Nomi thought he was from another planet.. while Bowery constantly engaged in gender play. He'd be Bart Simpson in drag-or cover himself up completely in leather save for his eyes. His outfits seemed to go for being as painful and as painstaking as possible.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more important than any other DVD you can buy. July 14, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
WOW! get it, NOW!
Im so excited to own this DVD.
YOU! what are you waiting for ??? hit order NOW, before they are out of print.
Leigh Bowery is a (sub?)cultural icon and should be honored forever.
If you paid money for the party monster DVD , do yourself a favor and get this = you can see where micheal alig and those 'clubkids' got alot of creative 'inspiration'
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true innovator June 30, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the most interesting people the world has ever known. Leigh Bowery influenced everybody from Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stephen Jones etc, etc. A true innovator and supremely unique provacateur. The world will never see the likes of Leigh Bowery again. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Bowery
This is a perfect documentary for those who are interested in all things Bowery.
His clothes, dancing, friends, art projects, music, and outrageous behavior are all here for... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jenny Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Badass
A must have for anyone in the know about the infamous Leigh Bowery. This is highly recommended particularly if you're aware of Leigh's relationship to people like Boy George or... Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by esk8ton
1.0 out of 5 stars Get The Cockettes instead. It's much more interesting.
This is a tiring attempt to make a very ambitious but untalented person seem like somebody important. Read more
Published on May 31, 2009 by J. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This movie gives you education on Leigh Bowery. He was so innovative that everyone interested in art, fashion and culture NEED to see this movie. Read more
Published on June 16, 2008 by S. Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars The legend of Leigh Bowery
Wow if you love fashion MR Bowey bring it to you in many format in his creative mind. His has no shame in his game, if you ever want to become a designer watch this movie if will... Read more
Published on October 29, 2006 by John Sterling
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Juxtaposition
Leigh Bowery makes every other shocking artist seem like a lame embarassment. He made no excuses. In 33 years, he lived more life than four people ever could. Read more
Published on July 2, 2006 by Hillary
5.0 out of 5 stars An Attractive Repellant
What can you say about Leigh Bowery? He is/was both beautiful and horrifying at the same time. You feel compelled to watch him but wish you didn't. Read more
Published on March 21, 2006 by D. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing film about a controversial artist
Before watching this film, I had never heard of Leigh Bowery. Afterwards, I realized that I recognized Leigh Bowery's and Michael Clark's collaborative influence in a number of... Read more
Published on August 16, 2005 by Cinephiliac
3.0 out of 5 stars ahead of his time
Leigh Bowery was ahead of his time. All these new "shock" artists cannot live up to Leigh. The movie let me know more about him and his art.
Published on November 25, 2004 by LoLo
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