Tuesday, September 20, 2011

David Bowie falls to Earth (again) for 35th anniversary

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I saw The Man Who Fell To Earth as a college freshman at a midnight screening at the campus cinema, which should be the ideal setting for the surreal science fiction film. David Bowie makes his big screen acting debut as an alien who comes to Earth seeking aid for his drought-ravaged home planet, only to be misdirected from his goal by such human temptations as sex, money and television. Director Nicolas Roeg specializes in surreal imagery and elliptical editing, so it's not always clear when events take place in relation to each other, and the film makes drastic tonal shifts between anti-American satire and the tragedy of Bowie's character. ("Fringe" gave a Man Who Fell To Earth shout-out by naming a recurring villain after Bowie's human alias, Thomas Jerome Newton.) When I saw the film I found it slow and, well, alienating, but The Man Who Fell To Earth is being re-released in a 139-minute directors cut that restores 20 minutes edited from its original U.S. release. It opens Friday, Sep. 23 at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, and here's the trailer for the director's cut:

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