Directed by Courtney Barton; Vancouver Film School; 2010
Spandy Andy is a dance performer that "promotes positivity and acceptance through dance." Simple as that. I'd equate Spandy Andy to the purple childhood icon, Barney. The same concept goes, man in suit, man with a message, man acting out message through song and dance. Andy is a Canadian born actor- performer with quite an interesting story:
His background in computer programming ("I followed that career because that's what I should do"), working at IBM ("suppressing my Spandy - Andy"), and then leaving his career for the spandex. Andy makes an interesting statement at about 3:15 about, hiding. It goes on, "there's a reason I take the lenses out of my glasses and that's because it's scary when you look at somebody in a mask because they don't have an identity and they're hiding behind something." I ask, isn't Spandy - Andy also hiding behind something? He may not be wearing a mask, but the glasses themselves could be argued as mask- like, but he's in costume. Like Clark Kent and Superman. In addition, he describes Spandy - Andy as a character. Andy and Spandy are two very different people and that's what I think we see in this pair of documentaries: the duplicitous nature of living the life of a caped (spandexed--not a word) crusader.
The few documentary shorts that I have seen (Spandy - Andy, Bye Bye Now, a Banksy short called, "Printing Banksy") are interesting in that they are more like public profiles. Along the lines of record- keeping, these documentaries are records of the lives of interesting (debatable) individuals. Why is it even important for us to know about this guy, who dances around in public, in spandex? Who cares? Yet, there is also something terribly interesting, psychologically, about a man who gives up a career (a good one, at that) for the freedom to live out his days in spandex. I can't say if I believe that Spandy - Andy is truly happy or if that behind the outfit there's an untold story-- he talks about being bullied in the first one-- that might reveal to the audience the exact reasons behind the act. I wonder if a longer documentary, more research and more funding, might give us a better idea about who Spandy - Andy really is. Or maybe, he's just a guy who prefers spandex.