The life and times of André Leon Talley are documented in the film The Gospel According to Andre, showing at the UVic Cinecenta Aug. 15 and 16. Photo Magnolia Pictures

INDY FILM: Celeb status captured in upcoming docs

Kathy Kay gives her take on a trio of films screening in Victoria in August

Celebrity must be quite a remarkable experience. Everyone saying ‘yes’ to you, with no surety of friendship but a constant barrage of hounds.

Two fashion icons are in the spotlight this summer, alongside someone who enjoyed the glamour that hanging with celebrity brings – no matter how you got yourself there.

The Gospel According to André has appeared in town already but is making a welcome comeback Aug. 15-16 at Cinecenta. André Leon Talley has led an extraordinary life primarily with Vogue Magazine, working with Diana Vreeland through Anna Wintour. He’s a man of great style, larger than life as they say and full of reminisces of life growing up with the church ladies. Director Kate Novack’s second feature film knows where to look to reveal the real Talley and in doing so has created a warm, insider’s documentary.

If Talley was beloved, Alexander McQueen was a tormented mystery. A new documentary McQueen (Opens Aug. 10, Vic Theatre) is a haunting tale with keen insights, humour and empathy.

McQueen rose to fame in the frothy ‘90s recognized for his technical virtuosity (an amazing tailor he), and audacious fashion shows that played between the lines of outrageous and gorgeous.

Sometimes in ‘fashion films,’ the fashion is the least interesting part because the life behind the runway can be so complex, loving, sweet and sad.

McQueen is one of those documentaries that, while presenting a remarkable overview of his work, depicts a complicated and genuinely amazing fellow. I liken directors Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui’s documentary to the greatness of Valentino: The Last Emperor, an insightful film that provided an unexpected peak into a master of fashion.

If your interests run to the prurient with a dash of salacious, don’t miss Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (Aug. 3-9). Scotty Bowers was an ex-Marine running a gas station and somehow he became the confidante, procurer and lover of many a Hollywood star. It’s compelling, gossipy and makes for some great summer fun.

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer, who also directed Valentino: The Last Emperor. How’s that for coincidence!

Kathy Kay is director of the Victoria Film Festival.

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