Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Moonage Daydream (2022) directed by Brett Morgen


A lauded documentary about the life of rock start and artist David Bowie and authorized by his estate, this film has some amazing editing and fantastic sound restoration in it. The film mixes early Bowie with later Bowie clips and highlights several interviews he did over the years, gradually moving towards the last years of his life. It has been well received by his fans and won awards at several festivals. 

I do like Bowie, his work was strongly present in my youth and I followed his career right up until his death. I cannot say I like this movie very much overall, however. There is a lot of repetition in the clips they show and graphics. many of the quickly flashing images have little connection to the man or his work and information about his life and art is sparse to say the least both in visually and in the interviews. If anyone has a giant catalog of visuals to draw from it's David Bowie, there should be no need for showing things over and over again no matter how pretty they are. 

I would say fans would be thrilled the effort was made but they won't learn anything much new about their idol. The film doesn't even mentioned he died. If you weren't familiar with him, you would be missing a lot of useful info that might help you decode his public personality and private life. There are endless shots of the back of his head with him walking places. I honestly think the film would be at least cut in ½ is they and the repeated graphics were removed and the information you learn about him would still seem sparse. 

For me, I have yet to see a decent accounting of his life and work.


T' said...

That's too bad. Biopics are bad enough but when you make a documentary and it struggles to fill time with the life of someone like Bowie, that's a sign of an ineffective filmmaker. Might still check it out as I really don't know much of anything about him. He's never been a big presence in my life, though I do have three of his albums, including his last, "Blackstar" which is a pretty heavy and amazing work. I never quite know what the hell he's talking about though it's all artfully done.

Speaking of bad biopics, if you've missed "Elvis," keep missing it. It's...odd, to say the least and feels very much like any resemblance between it and actual fact was accidental at best. Tom Hanks performance is...different. Excellent makeup on him. The movie just...doesn't feel accurate and I don't know much about Elvis, either.

Behemoth media said...

I knew more about Bowie than I thought. I have friends obsessed with him so I picked up a bunch through them over the last 40 years and I have almost all his stuff including some obscure stuff. It was just sad to see so little substance in this film. Even my friend who rushed out to see it in the cinema and loved it... rewatched it and was like... well in a crowd of bowie fans this was great but paying attention to it at home - not so much.