McQueen directed by Ian Bonhote & Peter Etedgui [8/10]

Never been to a fashion show and never will, so a documentary on the life of designer Lee Alexander McQueen hardly beckoned. Luckily I embrace risk, for from the first frame, the co-directors (and Etedgui wrote the script) of “McQueen” gripped me. With no fancy back and forth, just a chronological telling, they employ an artful mix of interview, fashion show footage, and family-style footage to chart McQueen’s rise from Brit youth to Gucci-owned superstar, and then to his untimely demise at age 40 (that’s not a spoiler, this is a doco, right?). Quite what converts a boring documentary into compelling drama is never clear to me, but I commend this magic to you. The ancient theme of the fraught flip side of genetic creativity is handled without express messaging. The visuals are, of course, vivid. Even Michael Nyman’s music, which I’ve gotten sick of in movies, suits the moody ambience. All in all, McQueen is an expertly paced, absorbing documentary paean to an exhausting talent.

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