The Victoria and Albert Museum's Bowie Is touring exhibition of rock's great chameleon hits Melbourne in July. This doco, made and heavily branded by the V&A, is likely to be as close as fans here will get to it without an airfare.
But while it's a very good video presskit for the exhibition, it makes for a peculiar sort of rockumentary. The exhibition is already one time removed from its ever-elusive subject. The film kind of telescopes that feeling.
True, it's not just doing a show and tell of Ziggy Stardust's crazy old jumpsuits. But there are plenty of those. It's attempting to contemplate Bowie as artist - and art object - and his lasting influence and meaning in pop culture.
Watch the trailer for Bowie Is here:
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But here that can sometimes resemble a series of TED talks by luminaries - including Jarvis Cocker, journalist Paul Morley, writer Hanif Kureishi - interrupted by wanders through the display cabinets, random concert footage and vox pops from visitors who sound a little too scripted to be true.
Fortunately, Bowie has left behind a trail of fascinating memorabilia including those stage costumes, which, the curators give the sort of archaeological respect and kudos that might be afforded the original master tapes for Heroes.
From his early days, it seems, Bowie was making an exhibition of himself. This quotes a school report of a young David Jones that says just that. And by the look of it, this will become the rock museum piece any future ones will be compared to.
But as a film, Bowie Is is a guess-you-have-to-be-there kind of experience. One for lifetime fanclub members only.
Director: Hamish Hamilton
Running time: 99 mins
Verdict: A David Bowie movie, starring his old clothes.