Studio Canal Re-release The Man Who Fell To Earth For 40th Anniversary
This Friday, in collaboration with the British Film Institute, Studio Canal are re-releasing David Bowie cult classic The Man Who Fell To Earth. To mark the 40th anniversary of director Nicholas Roeg's iconic sci-fi odyssey, new audiences can marvel whilst old ones reminisce over the painstakingly restored picture.
Words by Danielle Morgan
If you haven't already seen it, then let us fill you in; Bowie plays Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid Alien on a mission to bring vital water back to his drought stricken home planet. If aliens do exist, we'll take them in the form of eccentrically nostalgic Bowie any day of the week. Unfortunately he lands in New Mexico, no prizes for guessing why that wasn't such a great move, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. Back on home turf, the aliens are pretty clever, so Newton manages to get rich in no time at all patenting new technologies over on planet Earth. The plan is to use his riches to build a vehicle that transports the essential liquids back home, but things go awry when he inconveniently falls for hotel maid Mary-Lou. Whoops! Well that puts a spanner in the works, because evil college and confidant Dr Bryce is waiting in the wings ready to reveal his true identity to Mary-Lou and scupper his plans to return home, all for the sadistic fun of it.
Here at Rokit HQ we don't need an excuse to reminisce over the late great Bowie, but if you do, the film's score has been recorded by John Phillips of The Mama's & The Papas' so there's two. Bowie was originally in line to record the soundtrack, already half way through when Roeg decided the direction was all wrong and pulled in Papa John to seal the deal.
Bowie's casting in the film came at a poignant point in his career. Ambiguous androgyny and an irresistible etherealness played to Bowie's advantage when he created his alter ego the Thin White Duke. By all accounts rumoured to be living off a diet of milk, red peppers and cocaine, the Thin White Duke was a persona invented to distance himself from theatrical glam rock alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. But what happens when the hazy line between self and other grows ever more indistinguishable?
In one cocaine fuelled interview, Bowie, or rather the Duke, claimed that Hitler was the first great rock star, 'as good as Jagger'. With his addiction spiralling out of control, the Duke's inclination towards fascism was all too easily aligned with his brutal Aryan-esque blond slicked back hair and conservative dress. Bowie himself descried the Duke as, 'a very Aryan fascist type - a would-be romantic with no emotions at all.' The persona was created for the purpose of his 1976 album Station to Station, of which Bowie is said not to remember recording very much of due to his insatiable appetite for cocaine during this period. The persona was also a major influence of Roeg's for Bowie's character in the film, so setting drug addled debauchery aside, you could say there was a silver lining.
ENTER THE COMPETITION
The Man Who Fell To Earth is a must see whether you're a die-hard Bowie fan or not. To celebrate the re-release, we've got a tote bag filled with goodies including film poster courtesy of Studio Canal, 2 tickets to a showing of the feature, courtesy of BFI Southbank and a copy of Paul Morley's The Age of Bowie. Brought to us by Simon & Schuster UK, the acclaimed Sunday Times Bestseller is Morley's emotional and poignant tribute to one of greatest artists of all time. Chosen as one of the curators of the V&A's almost prophetic recent David Bowie Is... exhibition, Morley is one of the leading authorities on the life and works of Bowie.
To enter, just head over to our Facebook page and comment with your favourite Bowie track to be in with a chance of winning.