“Moonage Daydream” is a forthcoming film chronicling the life and genius of the late David Bowie. Whether you’re a Bowie fan or not, chances are you’ve heard about the sudden return of the Thin White Duke in the form of a new film by Brett Morgen.
Out of this world, the perverse reach of Ziggy Stardust who came to us in the form of an alien, an outsider or an astronaut, had thereby reflected the marginality experienced by millions of people. Thus, the freak becomes the great unifier. Whilst David Jones has passed, David Bowie remains. Ziggy Stardust, whilst only a fragment of the multifaceted cosmos is the Bowie matrix that consists of an array of personae, influences, fans and heroes.
This psychedelic portrayal of one of modern history’s most enigmatic frontmen, “Moonage Daydream” is set for a September 2022 release date.
An Incredible Depiction
Brett Morgen puts that raygun to our heads with this kaleidoscopic film, ensuring fans both old and new, are all going to freak out in a Moonage Daydream.
Guided by Bowie’s own narration, never-before-seen footage comes to the screen via a two-year process of sorting through the Bowie material.
“Told through sublime, kaleidoscopic, never-before-seen footage, performances and music, Brett Morgen’s feature-length experiential cinematic odyssey explores David Bowie’s creative, musical and spiritual journey.”
What Morgen describes as “a sort-of hybrid experimental film.” In 2016, Bowie died. At that time, the filmmaker was in the process of developing a potential series of IMAX movies via musicians. He wanted to lean toward the experiential,
“Something that wasn’t a biographical documentary, that wasn’t a concert film, but was more cinematic.”
Morgen’s extraordinary portrait of the late artist communicates Bowie as a cosmic philosopher. Some sort of glam trickster, and sage-like cypher via a stream-of-consciousness. It’s a mix-up of vintage performances, archival clips and interview format footage.
Spanning the mid-1970s, the doco features Bowie – glammed up as Ziggy Stardust; arguably his most iconic stage persona, created as a part of his 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. Ziggy Stardust was Bowie’s way of approaching the mainstream without sacrificing his inner life, thoughtform or golem in a sense. Morgen explains that,
“the final result is something that kept reinventing itself as it went along, evolving and constantly chasing after new ways of telling the story of someone who refused to be pinned down.”
Put together entirely out of archive footage, the process doesn’t come across as a straightforward, birth-to-death look into Bowie’s life and times.
Bowie goes on, still alive in the minds of millions of fans. Similarily to Morgen’s 2016 documentary on Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck, it pushes audiences through to an exhilarating stream of consciousness.
And at the heart of it all, is a mere human being; born on 8 January 1947, who died on 10 January 2016.
“After what I went through while I was making this, I needed to make something personal with this.
But I also wanted to give people who weren’t fans of Bowie a sense of who he was, and have this function as a canvas where others could see the Bowie they know in here as well. Something where a viewer could fill in the blanks.”
A Glorious Odyssey
The outlandish and colourful footage establishes Bowie as an artist, ahead of his time. Both a musician and public figure, fans both and new are sure to “freak out”.
“Freak out (Freak out, freak out, freak out, freak out…) Far out (Far our, far out, far out, far out…) In out (In Out, in out, in out, in out..)”
Bowie calls out to us to go as far as possible, into our imaginations. Or out, while inside, and then take it to the outside again. Take what you find on the inside and make it happen on the outside.
Clare Stewart, interim CEO, Sheffield DocFest says, “Brett Morgen’s glorious cinematic odyssey is an intoxicating match for Bowie’s artistry, Moonage Daydream feels like an extension of Bowie’s imagination – dazzling, slippery and iconic.”
“Moonage Daydream” hits cinemas on Thurs, 15 September 2022. Until then, check out the trailer below:
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