“Eyeliner is still a political act in some places,” makeup artist James Vincent says in the clip. “It was playing with gender, it was playing with power. Gender is power. To take something feminine and put it on a man or a musician and make it sexy, I think that’s dangerous.”
Vincent also applies eyeliner to Joan Jett, explaining what it contributes to her rock star image: “Joan always says with her guitar, ‘It’s pussy to the wood.’ It’s something that affects people emotionally and sexually. It’s just glitter. It’s just paint and powder and pigment. But when people see it, it pushes.”
Angelheaded Hipster, directed by Ethan Silverman, will premiere this week at Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The career-spanning doc explores Bolan’s life and career as a glam rock pioneer — who fronted T. Rex and released classic albums like 1971’s Electric Warrior and 1972’s The Slider — before he died in a car accident at the age of 29. In addition to Vincent and Jett, the film features Ringo Starr, Cameron Crowe, Billy Idol, David Bowie, Nick Cave, and Bolan’s longtime partner Gloria Jones.
The film also dives into the recent T. Rex tribute album of the same name, the final project from late producer Hal Willner. The compilation featured Kesha, Lucinda Williams, U2, and more.
“To see this otherworldly creature performing on TV, with glitter under his eyes and makeup, was quite something,” the Edge said of Bolan in 2020. “And Electric Warrior is unbelievable, right up there with some of the best albums in rock & roll history. The hooks and melodies and lyrics are amazing. His songs have the freedom of rock & roll and the discipline of great songwriting, which is what we as a band always aspire to.”