Style icons that transcend mediums, genres and art forms are a rare occurrence in this day and age, but those who qualify tend to get special treatment and celebrated like no other. As a part of the In The Gallery presentations that are running at Cineplex theatres all across the country “David Bowie IS” takes us inside the touring art exhibit for a firsthand look at everything that makes up the icon that is Bowie himself.
“David Bowie IS” is a documentary film of the groundbreaking exhibition of the same name that was created by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A). Described as “stylish & outrageous”, the exhibition features a remarkable collection of photographs, stage costumes, and other rare possessions from the David Bowie Archive. The exhibition was the fastest selling in the V&A’s history and is now on a global tour that has already travelled to Toronto, Sao Paulo, and Berlin to international acclaim, opening next at the MCA in Chicago until January 4 2015. The film takes the audience on an extraordinary journey through the exhibition with a myriad of special guests to explore the stories behind some of the key objects that document Bowie’s artistic career. The exhibition curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, provide fascinating insight into the most memorable music videos, costumes, as well as a wide variety of other oddities and artifacts which give us a glimpse inside the mind and inspirations of Bowie himself.
Interesting but hardly vital, “David Bowie IS” is quite simply for the fans who missed out on the exhibit when it was here in Toronto or for those who weren’t fortunate enough to have it come to their city. As a documentary, director Hamish Hamilton whose experience is more with directing live TV specials doesn’t quite have a sense of structure down as it feels a little scatological going all over the place with aspects of Bowie career not giving us a great deal of structure. Bowie fans will lap it up, but as an actual film it is a little weaker than it should and I know then what I hoped for as Bowie unquestionably deserves a cinematic retrospective of his career and life, but at the end of the day, this just isn’t it even though it will do until something better comes around.
3 out of 5 stars.
“David Bowie IS” is now playing at various Cineplex locations across the country, please check with your local listings for show times.