RIP David Bowie
It may seem weird to honor the death of a musician on my movie blog to some of you. But any real fan of David Bowie will know that they were moved by his presents on screen just as much by the music he performed. He poured his heart and soul into his music, and he was a wonderful musician. But I also would argue that he did the same for his movies.
The instant iconic performance on everyone's radar is The Goblin King in "Labyrinth" just because its his most popular performance. I think "Labyrinth" is a very cool movie, and for being populated by muppet like puppets, its pretty imaginative. I think The Goblin King is a wonderful character, and is profoundly and impeccably brought to life by Bowie. Its fun to watch Bowie throw down in this character and its pretty clear why its so iconic. Bowie clearly wanted the character to be iconic, so he went for it.
For me though, the best thing Bowie did as an actor was his work in "The Man Who Fell To Earth." Released in 1976, Bowie plays Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who is transported to Earth in order to find a way to get water to his planet before it is destroyed. While on Earth, he uses his superior knowledge of technology to make a fortune on Earth, while also being chased by the government. Also, who knew that he'd fall in love to. "The Man Who Fell To Earth" may sound like the regular alien movie we are used to seeing in the 1970's but it was so much more. As Thomas is making money off of his conventions, he spends more time spending money and getting into the world of drugs and alcohol, and losing focus of his real mission. "The Man Who Fell To Earth" is a study of humanity, when we are at our best and also when we are at our worst. And it is beautifully realized and crafted by Bowie.
I normally hate it when musicians make the jump to movies, but sometimes they surprise us. Like Ice Cube, David Bowie had a rare talent when he was onscreen. You can observe that in "Labyrinth" or "The Man Who Fell To Earth." You should also check out "The Prestige," "The Last Temptation of Christ," and "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me." Check out his cameos in "Zoolander" and "Yellowbeard." I also regret to inform you that David Bowie was gearing up to cameo in "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," which I bet would have been bigger than awesome.
Whether you loved his music or loved his screen presence, its no secret that David Bowie is an artist that will be terribly missed.