Style: David Bowie – The Man Who Fell to Earth
The Man Who Fell to Earth 1976 Dir. Nicholas Roeg Staring David Bowie, Candy Clark, Rip Torn & Buck Henry
First of all this film is by no means a ‘must see’. It’s overly long, dated badly and somewhat confusing (not in a good way). The one huge thing it has going for it is David Bowie at his peak. He is near perfect as the alien who’s come to Earth to try to save his planet but instead discovers the pleasures of Booze, Sex and TV. Bowie was 29 years old and just off of his Diamond Dogs Tour. Addicted to cocaine, rail thin, slightly paranoid, Bowie was in a perfect state of mind for the role. In the film he plays Thomas Jerome Newton, a mysterious stranger whos other-worldly inventions make him a multi-millionaire. He soon forgets he’s meant to go back to his home planet and falls prey to all the Earthly vices. The end finds him drunk and despondent, not aging a day. He’s all ’40’s suits, orange hair, sharp angles and different colored eyes. His style from this film would resonate for years – with Tilda Swinton copping it completely 30 years later.
1976 would see the release of Station to Station using a still from the film as the cover shot and the LP Low, again using another film shot, was released in 1977. Low was intended to be the soundtrack for the film but Bowie stepped away and created a different piece of music entirely.