Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review: David Bowie Is Happening Now

World of Blackout Film Review

David Bowie Is Happening Now Poster

David Bowie Is Happening Now
Cert: 12A / 99 mins / Dir. Hamish Hamilton

Part tour-guide, part retrospective, David Bowie is Happening Now was tonight's live-presentation from London's V&A Museum showcasing their fastest selling exhibition ever, and offering a small insight into the creative behemoth that is Bowie.

I say a small insight, because with the best will in the world, 99 minutes can barely scratch the surface. The presentation centres more around Bowie as a cultural icon than a musician, and features short talk-pieces from collaborators, peers and fans, with the two presenters taking time out to discuss various pieces from the museum including personal effects, stage costumes and hand-written lyrics and storyboards. Interspersed with archive interview and live performance footage, it's aimed squarely at existing-fans, and while it does its job well, I couldn't help but want more input from the man himself. Spoken-word excerpts from Bowie are frustratingly infrequent (considering the show is about him), and while they were largely unfamiliar to me, I don't know how many of them were in the public domain before this show.

So, it's not really ideal for newbies, and I suspect the more devoted followers will struggle to find much new; but it is absolutely fascinating if you're into art, music and performance at any level (even as a spectator). For the full experience, try and catch the exhibit itself, which is about to tour internationally. Sorry Londoners, you've had your chance.

Mick Jagger? Tin Machine? Not a peep. Oddly.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
I… er… it's not really a trailer, is it?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I… er… next.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
From a certain point of view, yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Well I doubt you'll have a lot of choice now, but if you're a Bowie fan you'll want to see it the next time it becomes available.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
Probably only if if surfaces on BBC4.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
No. Surprisingly.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Is it just me that thinks DB's 'Diamond Dogs' era stuff sounds like the Stones?
Oh, it is.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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