The documentary McQueen, looking into the extraordinary life and career of designer Alexander McQueen, is on its last days at the Arclight Pasadena and will open this Friday at the Claremont and NoHo Laemmle theaters. Through exclusive interviews, recovered archives, intense visuals, and outstanding music, McQueen celebrates the impressively inspired, yet tortured, fashion visionary. The film is directed by Ian Bonhôte and co-directed and written by Peter Ettedgui.
Born and raised in East London, nothing in the background of Lee Alexander McQueen hinted at his future. As the youngest of six children, Lee might have been expected to become a cab driver, like his father. Instead, he began drawing clothes in every one of his school books, be it biology or science class, and as a very young man found work tailoring suits at a local shop. Eventually, McQueen’s fierce romanticism and punk poetry helped create 1990s-era “Cool Britannia,” a celebration of youth culture in the U.K., and he secured himself a place as one of the most original and influential artists of his time.
The filmmakers offer a thrilling portrait of McQueen’s life and complex persona, following him as he conquers the world of fashion with designs that were often both beautiful and sinister. Through interviews with family, friends and colleagues, footage from his famed live runway shows, and previously lost video of McQueen himself, this film reveals a creative talent who expressed his darkest fantasies and greatest ambitions through his clothing design and spectacular showings. His work enthralled some, repulsed others, but no one could look away or forget.
Presented in five chapters, McQueen highlights the pivotal moments in the designer’s life as expressed in some of his most personal and iconic shows – from “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims,” his 1992 graduate college collection, to the otherworldly final show, which he produced before taking his own life at the age of 40.
McQueen is a beautiful documentary that could even end up shooting up sales for Alexander McQueen clothing (because, let me tell you, there’s nothing I want more right now than something with his name on it). The scenes of his fashion shows will blow your mind. The music chosen as the score is brilliant on its own. This film will open your eyes to the intensity of this designer’s craft and grow your appreciation for his contribution to the world of fashion.
Photo: Credit: Ann Ray / Courtesy of Bleecker Street
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