Friday Film Review | "Moonage Daydream"
Six years after his death, David Bowie’s music and art are brought to life in the new documentary “Moonage Daydream.”
I’ve been a longtime David Bowie fan, so when I had a chance to catch a screening of the new documentary “Moonage Daydream” in Salt Lake, I gladly cut short my afternoon mountain bike ride to sit inside a dark theater.
Making its premiere last May at the Cannes Film Festival, “Moonage Daydream” is written, directed, and edited by documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen. Morgen’s previous work includes the Emmy award-winning “Jane” (about Jane Goodall), 2015’s “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” and the 2012 Rolling Stones film “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Part documentary, part concert movie, “Moonage Daydream,” is a visual and musical timeline of Bowie’s 50-year career.
While it’s not the first film about Bowie, Morgen is the first filmmaker to work directly with Bowie’s estate, which gave him access to archives that included millions of items, including unseen performance footage, photographs, journals, and Bowie’s rare artwork.
Narrated using soundbites of Bowie in his own words, the film opens with footage from a Ziggy Stardust tour. It continues with backstage interviews, talk show appearances, and his sabbaticals in Singapore and Berlin, leading up to the recording of the Blackstar album, which was released just two days before his death in 2016.
The film covers the everchanging phases and personas of Bowie’s career - including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and the Thin White Duke – characters created, Bowie explains, as a creative method to feel more comfortable performing on stage.
Through candid interviews, Bowie shares personal stories about his childhood, the impact of his half-brother’s struggles on his music, regrets about some of his career choices, and his “love at first sight” romance with the supermodel Iman.
Bowie’s music is brought to life throughout the film using vibrant kaleidoscopic animation and images of his abstract art.
Fans will find “Moonage Daydream” a fitting tribute to the multifaceted and multi-talented artist. It’s a film worth watching and experiencing on the big screen!
Running 2 hours and 20 minutes, “Moonage Daydream” is rated PG-13 (for brief strong language and some nudity) and is now playing in theaters.