"Moonage Daydream"

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsMusic documentaries are cast in the same mold. A narrator, random people telling their rationalized and fabricated stories, L cuts and J cuts, archive material mixed with genre footage and, last but not least, a standardized narrative technique. Normally, I can't stand music documentaries. The Swedish public service television company, SVT had the good taste to show "Moonage Daydream" recently on their streaming platform. I was flabbergasted. Watching this 140-minute documentary is probably the closest you get to a LSD-trip, without the actual LSD. The film is literally bursting with colours and trips: concerts clips, rare behind-the-scenes footage, still photography, archive interviews, interviews and news reportage rearranged into a huge collage not unlike Bowie's cut-up technique. Maybe the filmmaker Brett Morgen with this film not altogether reinvented the music documentary as a concept, but he definitely took it to a new level. What I particularly like is when Bowie (uninterrupted) speaks of his perceptions, ideas, visions and thoughts. The film gives a deeper understanding of what Bowie was trying to achieve with his brilliant artistry. Broadcasters with ignorant and conservative point of view never understood the concept of a persona. And when they did, Bowie had already moved on to another persona. The film captures Bowie's restless creativity and his constant need for reinvention. One of the most interesting parts in the film is the decision to move from the glitterati- and cocaine-infused Los Angeles to West-Berlin in the late 1970s. In Berlin, the locals are unimpressed of rock stars, which suited Bowie very well. Here, Bowie made the Berlin trilogy: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). On a "beer-trip" to Berlin in April 2023 we went to Hauptstrasse 155 in Schöneberg where David Bowie lived during his time there to pay our respect and take some selfies (in that order). What is more to say? This is a must-see film. "Keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe / Put your ray gun to my head / Press your space face close to mine, love / Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!"  

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