TIFF 2022 – Moonage Daydream, a Tribute to David Bowie
Director Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream is his new film tribute to David Bowie. The filmmaker was granted unprecedented access to Bowie’s personal archives, combing through roughly millions of video footage, photography, and visual art that Bowie created over the years—and piecing them into a fragmented narrative. It took years to film this unconventional documentary.
The film jumps back and forth to Bowie’s different eras: Tonight 1984, Ziggy Stardust, the Berlin trilogy, Let’s Dance and his final album, Blackstar.
Moonage Daydream is the first film to be officially sanctioned by Bowie’s estate. His first wife, Angela Bowie, is never mentioned within the narrative, while his marriage to Iman is given its own chapter. Also, Tin Machine a band Bowie fronted was barely mentioned.
There were candid vintage news clips, including a particularly famous interview with Dick Cavett, amplifying the mystery. “Rumors and questions have arisen about David such as who is he, what is he, where did he come from, is he a creature of a foreign power, is he a creep, is he dangerous?” Cavett asked, rhetorically, in 1974. “Is he smart, dumb, nice to his parents, real, a put-on, crazy, sane, man, woman, robot, what is this?”
There was great footage of him recording, smearing charcoal across a massive canvas, and wandering through rural corners of Asia, accented with reflections on his life. He stated he wasn’t a fan of the L.A. lifestyle, so Asia, Berlin New York and Switzerland were his places of choice.
Bowie’s Let’s Dance era, a spotlight on his 1983 commercial success, as Bowie discusses his newfound desire to “work in a more obvious and positive manner,” showcasing ’80s stadium tour footage, crazed fans running into the stadium and clips from Bowie’s Pepsi Commercial with Tina Turner, which turned “Modern Love” into a jingle for the soft drink. The director is formally commenting on the gross commercial excess of the era, if not foreshadowing. Bowie mentioned “l don’t begrudge anyone who wants an audience.”The final chapter of Bowie was the Blackstar era, The effects of the background of the moon and space was mesmerizing. Bowie said “All people, no matter who they are, wish they’d appreciated life more,” Bowie’s voice broadcasting from the cosmos.
Overall, a fan favourite for the Bowie aficionados and rare footages of the “Thin White Duke. “ It ‘s a great recommendation for the sheer history of Bowie.