Friday, March 24, 2023



When I saw Everything Everywhere All at Once I picked up this Flyer for this Bowie Film. Went and saw it first session 9:05AM on opening day here, on the largest screen in DOLBY ATMOS.

There were 8 of us in the Cinema.  It was a Friday morning, work day, only had Japanese Subtitles for a film in English in the Japanese suburbs of Kyoto. Had expected more people.

Bowie died January 2016 age 69. I hadn't been a huge fan, but his death was probably the first celebrity death that had any real impact on me.  More so than the passing of Jon Lord of Deep Purple, a group I was a huge fan of, but I didn't really know much at all about the person that was Jon.

It was probably because Bowie had been around since I started High School. A friend in Art Class was a huge fan. His stuff was on the radio, He was interviewed a lot.  Around 1983, the time of "China Girl" and "Lets Dance" he was a fairly regular guest on local TV, he must have been living in Australia somewhere at the time. I was working at Fairlight Instruments Pty Ltd, and music and music production  was a major thing in my life. I only ever bought a "best of" album of his stuff around that time.

After his death, there were a few "Life of Bowie" documentaries on TV. I watched them all.  I remember a school friend being interviewed, probably the friend that had taken out Bowie's eye,  and he said he told David once "I don't think your mother likes me" and David had answered "she doesn't like anyone, me included".   David had a very unloving upbringing. 

MOONAGE DAYDREAM narration is mostly David Bowie's answers to interview questions over his career.  In the choices writer, director, editor Brett Morgen makes in his film, David doesn't say his mother was unloving and uncaring, but says a more subtle something along the lines of "families can have pain”.  His story about his half brother Terry speaks volumes,  The film isn't a documentary because of these choices, I think,  but tries to give the EXPERIENCE of a few parts of Bowie's life and career through a mix of images, movie clips, stock footage, art, sculpture, sound, music, concert footage and spoken word.  

Instead of telling and showing you about Bowie, you get a feeling about Bowie. 

The live footage is mostly early Bowie too. I hadn't heard the track MOONAGE DAYDREAM till last week myself.  The film also doesn't include most of his most popular music.  

I didn't know that David had never "bought" a house. Instead preferring to live in a different country every few years. Looking for inspiration in his great adventure. Never settling and being partially "isolated".  Part of his changing public persona as well I guess.  I don't remember this being in any of the TV documentaries I saw.

Long time collaborator TONY VISCONTI did the music for the film. But in the film, he isn't mentioned, only Brian Eno is. The music has taken stems from Bowie albums and live concerts and remixes made for some sequences in the film. 

David did painting and sculpture. I didn't know that, and hadn't seen any of his works till this film. 

Calling it an EXPERIENCE is apt.  

I thought maybe it was a bit long as some sequences were repeated.  I need to see it again. Maybe not all in one sitting though. 

UPDATE: April 3 2023
News today of Ryuichi Sakamoto passing today aged 71.  They were both in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. But I have to say I never had any Yellow Magic Orchestra albums or have really heard much of his early music when I lived and grew up in Australia.  I also hadn't heard of Jean Michel Jarre till I started work in 1981 at Fairlight Instruments.  

I think the Australian radio I heard, and the music TV shows I watched almost completely ignored much of the electronic music world when I was growing up, and mostly looked to UK pop/rock anyway.  I did know Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, but this was from a German school friend.  

The music environment I grew up in looks so limited now...

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