David Bowie V&A film ‘to receive global cinema release’

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Film was previously shown for one day only to coincide with the 'David Bowie Is' exhibition

A film centred around the Victoria and Albert museum’s David Bowie exhibition, titled David Bowie Is Happening Now, is being proposed for a global cinema release later this year.

Speaking to NME at the 32 Londoners event last night (May 1) – which saw the London Eye taken over for talks on 32 important cultural figures including musicians such as Bowie and The Kinks’ Ray Davies – Geoffrey Marsh, Director of Theatre and Performance at the museum, revealed the new plans for the film.

Discussing the wider release of the film, which was previously shown on one day only to coincide with the final day of the exhibition last August, Marsh said: “We were very pleased about the way it went, we had 200 screenings of it in Britain from Cornwall to the north of Scotland and sold about 35,000 tickets. At the time we didn’t know if we wanted to do it more broadly and we’ve been looking at that over the last few months because we’d very much like to release it globally at some point in the future. We’re currently working on that, but we haven’t got a date yet.”

He continues: “We want to do a cinema release because what it does, particularly in the States and in Europe, is you get to an audience that can’t get to London so it’s a fantastic way of getting people to see it who wouldn’t otherwise. Over 300,000 people came to the Bowie show in London and it was sold out, it was a bit like a concert, so I think in the music business especially it’s a good way of expanding the people you reach.”

There are no plans, however, for the film – which is part-narrated by Marsh himself and shows the full exhibition alongside stories behind many of the artifacts – to receive a DVD release. “It was designed as a film of the exhibition, not a film about David, and exhibitions have a lifespan, they’re not forever. If it does get done, it’ll be a temporary thing.”

Marsh also went on to clarify that Bowie “didn’t want to be involved” in the hugely popular exhibition. “He’s got this huge archive in NY with 70,000 items in it but he was very clear that he didn’t want to be involved in the exhibition at all,” Marsh explained. “He said it was up to the V&A to do it, I think he was more interested in someone else doing it. The main concern I think was that there’s been so many books written about him and they just copy the same mistakes over and over again so they’re keen to try and get things accurate, but the interpretation was ours.”

The exhibition ran from March 23 to August 11 last year. It is currently about to open in Berlin, before moving to Chicago in the autumn and to Paris in Spring 2015.