With a new film focusing on the now iconic exhibition, Getintothis’ Dickie Felton explores the wonder of the Thin White Duke.
A leader, a singer, a messiah, a maestro. A legend, a superstar, a pin-up, a pensioner… Just who, or what, is David Bowie?
The 90 minute documentary from the ground-breaking David Bowie Is exhibition, which ran at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, is a marvel. And FACT scored a major coup by being one of a handful of UK cinemas to have this film for one night only.
It starts with another British icon – the humble Tube train – as it rumbles to South Kensington and the steps of the V&A.
Exhibition curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, provide a fascinating insight as they take viewers around the exhibition and through Bowie’s world. The imagery, the costumes, the record sleeves, the childish scrawled lyrics to the world’s most well-known songs.
For those unable to see the exhibition in the flesh, this movie is a wondrously welcome second chance to experience Bowie mania. And hearing his songs in a cinema setting is truly special.
David Bowie Is takes us on a magical journey. It starts with images of a ten-month-old David Jones. The early days of an ordinary British boy who went on to do the most extraordinary things. Bowie’s drawings of stage sets and costumes show us that his genius was apparent from childhood. They were clearly a sign of what was to come.
The dazzling personas adopted by Bowie during the different stages his career are given close attention. There’s an early Top of The Pops appearance that brought him into British consciousness. Here he is. Dressed in an outrageous, skin-tight cat suit with his arm around another man. One fan, no doubt mirroring conversations across the country, recounts this first sighting of his future hero: ‘Who is he? Is he actually from this planet?’
Bowie’s fans feature in the film and that is what makes it so special, as they each recall the moment he changed their lives. ‘Bowie’s DNA is in those costumes,’ says one. While another lad exchanges a life on the terraces for a lifetime’s allegiance to his man: ‘David Bowie is my football team.’
More details on David Bowie Is: www.omniversevision.com/davidbowieis