Friday, December 07, 2007

Lovong The Alien

The Man Who Fell To Earth on DVD (1976)

Starring: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark
Director: Nicolas Roeg
I first saw this film as a child, on a small black and white tv around 1980 when I was a fanatical Bowie fan. And Bowie's presence in this film is essential - even when I read the original novel I needed to imagine Thomas Jerome Newton as David Bowie. Without Bowie its easy to imagine that this film would have been much less interesting. But with Bowie, a whole new area opens up. TJN is Bowie. A man nervous of his new found fame and noteriety. A shy and private man necessarily thrust into the spotlight in order to acheive his mission on earth.
Bowie was imploding at the time. Drugs, rock n roll and a tremendous amount of sex was having an impact on his health, physical and mental. This film acts as a full stop to that period in Bowie's life, just before he relocated to Europe - his Berlin period. He should have used this as a full stop to his actiong career too. we would have remembered him for his one magnificent and eccentric performance.
This is not only Bowie's finest perfomance, but also, Candy Clarke's performance as TJN's girlfriend/wife is probably the best of her career. There's the peeing scene when she sees Tommy without his makeup and contact lenses; a study in pure terror. Then she loses her grip on sanity and becomes batty and middle aged. All convincingly acted.
The story - not all that complicated really, although many people become confused and consider it to be weird. But you do have to pay attention - easier if you have a pause and rewind button.

Go on give it a shot. You'll either love it or hate it

No comments: