The British Guide to Showing Off Review

Directed by the documentarist and animator Jes Benstock, The British Guide to Showing Off is half a biography of the sculptor & artist Andrew Logan and half a documentary on the Alternative Miss World shows he’s been organising in London since 1972. The docu-biopic, for lack of a better word, revolves around the 12th incarnation of the show (the theme of which was ‘Elements’).

The events themselves (which Andrew comperes as both host and hostess, ‘split down the middle’) are counter-cultural celebrations of eccentricity and indivuality often with politcal and satirical undertones. The contestants (often in drag) take to the stage in a variety of outrageous outfits and setups under the same categories as the actual Miss World show: day wear, swim-wear and evening wear. Although you’d be unlikely to see these categories interpreted as mashed potato for day wear and a chip for evening wear at Miss World.

The film is interestingly made; using colourful animation, old photographs and archive footage to chronicle the rise and rise of the ‘greatest party in the world’. One thing that really struck home during The British Guide to Showing Off is how the sporadic event almost bankrupts Andrew Logan every time. It’s clear he doesn’t do it to make money, he’s just a passionate believer in decadent self-expression which he has crafted into at form.

So, who’s coming to the next one with us?

You can watch the trailer here:

The British Guide to Showing Off’ is released on DVD andBlu-Ray on January 23rd

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