‘Moonage Daydream’: Everything you didn’t know about David Bowie as an actor

When we think of David Bowie, his work as an actor is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but his long and illustrious career as a singer and songwriter was complemented by his work on the big screen.

This long weekend, from Friday the 16th to Monday the 19th of September, some Cinépolis theaters will screen Moonage Daydream, a devastating and moving sensory experience that draws on a psychedelic mix of live performances, interviews, video clips, and the experimental paintings of David Bowie, as well as a selection of clips from other classic films (The Wizard of Oz, a trip to the moon, Nosferatu Y an Andalusian dog) to take viewers on an audiovisual odyssey through the career and artistic vision of the iconic British musician.

And precisely when we think of Bowie, it is likely that his work as an actor is not the first thing that comes to mind. His long and illustrious career as a singer and songwriter, where he has experimented with numerous genres and worked with other legends such as Iggy Pop or Queen, place him as an icon in music history. He sold over 150 million albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, reviewing his film career, Bowie (the author of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and ‘Heroes’) has taken part in many less memorable films, but also in many other films of great merit. A) Yes, We have seen him embody a goblin king, a nostalgic alien, a brilliant inventor, Andy Warhol, Pontius Pilate, and Nikola Tesla, he has also worked with some of the most interesting directors of recent decades: Nicolas Roeg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and David Lynch, among others.


He played a painting that wants to kill its creator

Border Film Productions

Space Oddity, Bowie’s second album, was released in 1969, the year in which the British musician made his debut as a film actor in The Image, a short film by Michael Armstrong, shot in black and white. Michael Byrne plays an artist who during the quiet of the night, locked in his room, works on the portrait of a young man. He appears with his hands outstretched, as if he wanted to give his creator a hug. While the painter meditates on his work, behind the window appears, in flesh and blood, the same young man in the portrait. From that moment on, the artist, anguished by what he has just experienced, looks for a way to get rid of his creation..


His androgynous mannerisms were perfect for embodying an alien


Columbia Pictures

Bowie’s first leading role was in The man who fell to Earthmovie directed by Nicholas Roeg in 1976, as Thomas J. Newton, an alien who travels to Earth from his drought-stricken planet and attempts to finance the rescue of his world. The alien becomes an entrepreneur as he builds the largest corporate empire in the US, creating technological breakthroughs long before his time. Bowie’s casting as Tom Newton is fully linked to the rock star’s androgynous mannerisms that are perfectly suited to the role of the visitor from space. Furthermore, Bowie excels at creating a perfectly fitting sense of tragedy and melancholic ambiguity in his actions..


It was directed by the creator of the Muppets


The Jim Henson Company

Mupptes creator Jim Henson directed Labyrinth, a fantasy film that centers on a 15-year-old girl (Jennifer Connelly) who must rescue her little brother from the evil Goblin King Jareth, played by Bowie. The film was a resounding box office flop, reportedly depressing Henson so much that he never directed again. But Laberinto developed a long life in physical formats, specifically on VHS, and From then on for a whole generation of children, Bowie’s Jareth, with his sinister eighties wig, with his nonsensical dialogue, but above all with his characteristic ambiguity to make the villain attractive and repulsive, is a of his most indelible creations. In addition, this great puppet-based adventure includes Bowie’s spectacular and memorable song, ‘Magic Dance’.


From sick vampire to victimizer of Jesus Christ


MGM/Universal Pictures

Tony Scott’s film debut, The anxiety (1983), was one of the first contemporary takes on the vampire genre, and Bowie’s inherent modernity (his 200-year-old vampire even performs during a Bauhaus group performance) certainly contributes to that. His vampire, named John, suffers the horrible fate of remaining untouched for a couple of centuries, before suddenly and rapidly aging, unable to die.. Without a doubt, it is one of the most tragic roles that Bowie embodied on screen. Just five years later, the musician gave life to Pontius Pilate, the man who literally washes Jesus’ hands and seals his bloody fate on the cross in The last temptation of ChristMartin Scorsese’s controversial film version of the life of Christ.


From pop artist to electrical engineer


Miramax/Warner Bros.

Let’s get artsy first with a biopic of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright in the title role, directed by filmmaker and painter Julian Schnabel, and features Bowie absolutely stealing the show by appearing as Andy Warhol mimicking his mannerisms and mannerisms. And from there we move to the end of the 19th century in the big trick to witness two stage magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) battle each other over who has the better trick. Bowie here plays real-life engineer Nikola Tesla, who helps one of them with an intriguing device. It is a small but important appearance and the director Christopher Nolan he had to personally travel to New York for Bowie to accept.

‘Moonage Daydream’: Everything you didn’t know about David Bowie as an actor