Major Tom. Ziggy Stardust. Aladdin Sane. Pierrot. Fine White Duke. blind prophet. alien rocker glam messiah Alcoholic astronaut. Neo-expressionist painter. Omnivorous in love. Elephant Man on Broadway. Cyberbug. All of these identities and personalities—and more—collapse beneath the ambiguous signifier we know as David Bowie, who died six years ago after spending his life relentlessly reinventing himself.
A bold cinematographic tribute to her figure, presented out of competition at the last Cannes Film Festival, Moonage daydream reflects on this four and a half years of continuous metamorphosis. Completed in five years with thousands of hours of material, the film is directed by Brett Morgen, a documentary producer who was an expert in his previous feature Kurt Cobain: The Montage of the Heck (2015). new movie.
In other words, Moonage does not offer an imaginary biographical narrative, but merely pieces of atomized information that Bowie did in his life, through bits of speech, much of which were of a spiritual and philosophical nature – “I was a Buddhist on Tuesday and was interested in Nietzsche on Friday”, at one point in the film’s existence. he is heard commenting on the transience of images, an ever-changing collage passing through the ages through the succession and superposition of never-before-seen images, abstract animations and visual allusions to artists.Méliès, Kubrick, Murnau, Eisenstein, Oshima, Kandinsky, Pollock and Bacon, others It’s also clear that there are many musical performance pieces, from the Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars concerts in the early ’70s to their tours with the albums Outling and Earthlings in the mid to late ’90s.
In total, 48 songs share more or less assets; The first voicing Hallo spaceboy and the commemoration of a Free festival concludes the film. Morgen’s choice is inevitably different from what other artist fans would choose—this chronicler misses The Station’s inclusion—but it’s brilliant nonetheless. Moonage daydream advances without interruption throughout its 140-minute run, according to the rhythm of this musical treasure. That may mean it will wear out audiences who aren’t particularly ready to catch up, but die-hard fans will be upset that it won’t take another 140 minutes. There is no doubt that Bowie will love her; As a result, as he explains in the movie, he understood his music as an “idea pudding” and tried to “start the 21st century in 1971”.
The big idea the movie articulates is that Bowie’s life is a pendulum, causing him to oscillate between his need to connect with people and his need to distance himself; This explains, for example, why his compositional experiments with Brian Eno in Berlin led him to populism with songs like Let’s dance and Modern love, which made him a superstar and showed it after years of trying to impose his own tastes. decided to start giving him what he wanted in public.
Of course, Bowie kept going through the stages and regained his experimental spirit, but Moonage passed them quietly. Likewise, the artist’s interventions in his personal life are also minimal. Thus, it is a consciously incomplete portrait that captures the spirit of its hero, but that David Bowie—Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Blind Prophet, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera—supposes to epitomize that vastness that is called a dozen movies.