R.I.P. David Bowie

I’ve been remiss in talking about notable celebrity deaths here in the blog recently. Among others I’ve neglected to mention were the great cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsigmond. Death isn’t something I’ve wanted to dwell on lately. However, when an icon the stature of David Bowie passes, that demands attention.

Unfortunately, I am ill equipped to provide a proper tribute to Bowie’s legacy as a musical artist, and the ways he changed our perception of what a rock star was supposed to be. I’ll leave that to other sources. Our main focus in this blog has always been movies, and Bowie made a significant contribution in that area as well. His songs are featured in hundreds of movie soundtracks and he occasionally appeared as an actor.

Although his acting roles were infrequent, he generally made it a point to pick interesting projects. Some of his most notable performances include the disaffected alien in Nicolas Roeg’s sci-fi enigma ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, Catherine Deneuve’s vampire companion in ‘The Hunger’, the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s ‘Labyrinth’, Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, and eccentric scientist Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’. He also had a memorable cameo in David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’.

The following David Bowie movies are currently available on Blu-ray.

One title I’d still like to see on the format is ‘Basquiat’, Julian Schnabel’s bio-pic about artist Jean Michel Basquiat, in which Bowie played Andy Warhol.

David Bowie died on Sunday at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. He’s survived by his second wife (the model Iman) and two children, one of which is film director Duncan Jones of ‘Moon’ and the upcoming ‘Warcraft’. Bowie’s final album, ‘Blackstar’, was released just two days before his death.

[Source: CNN]

11 comments

  1. timcharger

    Favorite use of a David Bowie song in film:
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

    Gotta rewatch that scene today, and tip one to David.
    Salud, David.

  2. Labyrinth is one of my all time favorite films, they just dont make Fantasy like that anymore, Bowie in that was a HUGE part of my childhood and is really what opened me up to his music. I can throw that movie in ANY time and love it as much as I did as a kid, cant wait to share that one with my son when he’s a bit older, Bowie and Henson, awesome team, awesome movie and of course, awesome music 🙂

  3. Bolo

    I don’t normally get upset about celebrity deaths, but this one just hit me really hard. It feels like it shouldn’t be over. I feel like the surprise announcement from David Bowie should be that he’s touring again, not that he’s dead. I did not know he was sick, so this came as a complete surprise and bummed me out all day. I came home and watched my blu-ray of ‘Labyrinth’, and it was bittersweet.

    I’ve listened to his music as long as I’ve listened to music, and I’ve always enjoyed seeing him show up in movies. It’s just mindblowing how one man can have so much inside him. He really was magic.

  4. Nick

    I love Bowie’s music and I also love The Man Who Fell to Earth and his roles in The Prestige and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

    As for a Bowie track in a film though…thats got to be (as someone mentioned above) Im Deranged which opens Lost Highway (and closes the film too). Just suits the images so perfectly…sublime stuff!

    Its just a shame that Bowie’s music wasnt used in the Man Who Fell to Earth as it could have made a good film even better.

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