THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ
Documentary about the life of André Leon Talley gives the audience very little they couldn’t already access by watching a few of his YouTube clips and going through Google images. A man entangled inside an industry with its many demons and yet the filmmaker (Kate Novack) chose to do little else, but make a puff piece of Talley-soundbites. Certainly some decent all too familiar struggles with being a black man in America and in the fashion industry, but Novack didn’t have the creative vision to present these issues with style. A boring, ineffectual presentation on a topic that has more than enough edges to keep an audience triggered.
Documentary about the life of famed designer Alexander McQueen is a melancholy bit of theatrical layering between the man and his work that ends with a tragic hanging in the aftermath of death. McQueen was a fascinating designer—mixing elements of the lurid and the morose in what feels to be the essence of runway performance art. Stunning colors begotten by a life of dark character.
And still, while trying to juxtapose McQueen’s London shows with the psychological elements of his being, the directors (Ian Bonhôte & Peter Ettedgui) failed to draw a rich foundation for his brilliance and his eventual break-down. Where documentaries like Whitney struggled with their addictions, McQueen did very little to seriously engage in the darkness of McQueen’s life aside from spelling out that his demons where constantly at the door. Maybe there was nothing else, maybe the footage wasn’t available, but I was definitely mesmerized by this man’s work.