Rated: R for language and nudity. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: July 20, 2018 Released by: Bleecker Street Media
An evocative documentary from directors Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui recounts the vicissitudes of its bold, talented fashion designer subject whose 'skulls' harness oddly allusive, if significant meaning.
An artistic, if saturnine McQueen has atmosphere to spare in examining with visual power Britain's Lee Alexander (going by his middle name because it's more posh) McQueen, going beyond the flashy garb and sweeping shows.
The astute insight into a sassy personality is framed by home videos using pictures and media coverage to exhibit his notable live presentations. You gradually become immersed into spirited individualism accompanied by talking heads close to him like Janet McQueen and Gary James McQueen. The sense of having a personal account unveiled is deeply felt and how the narrative is conceptualized in its context becomes more compelling as expressed in a sharp production by Michael Nyman's moody score.
Darkness would swirl into this defiant provocateur who would train in St. Martins, earning positions in Milan and Saville Row (connected to one of Prince Charles's outwear) in becoming quite learned in fabrics and design, backed by a working-class clan. An innovator of progressive ideas to the industry allowed him to express more freedom after being at Givenchy and struggled with success after uniting with Tom Ford (director of Nocturnal Animals, A Single Man) at Gucci.
Looking through what an artisan produced the illustration of exhilaration and unnerving, along with two personal, painful losses led Alexander to act on festering dark impulses. The hilarious and heartrending are married in the gorgeous, eerie and revelatory through amazing catwalk efforts ranging from 'Highland Rape' and 'Voss' to 'Plato's Atlantis'. Thus, a controversial, tortured figure (with smart inserts by the directors) wasn't really able to make good on so much potential in his coterie and beyond.