There is a shot of David Bowie travelling on an escalator in Japan which seems to sum up the otherworldly aesthetic of this unique film – he seems to float like an angel.
Eschewing the usual cliches of talking heads, song clips and cultural commentary, Brett Morgen’s vibrant visual patchwork is more like a Pop Art film than documentary. Famous images of him by Mick Rock fragment and split into duplicates. It’s beautiful and inventive.
Deconstructing the creative process, the narrative is left to Bowie himself,through the infamous exchanges with Russell Harty to more empathic words with Mavis Nicholson, who regarded him as “a blank canvas”,the approach is kaleidoscopic, emulating the chaos which he believed was essential for understanding the life force. Best of all, it goes into the Berlin period, with live gig clips and demos.
Leave others to rock ‘n’ roll tropes, stereotyping and dull anecdotes from smug sixties journos, this one is the real deal. Bowie deserves nothing less.
Out now on limited release.