It’s nice to have met you, I’m glad we did finally meet at lastDavid Bowie
And all I can say is, “Goodbye, goodbye
We’ll meet again sometime, somewhere
I did not grow up in the Bowie era(s) and neither were my friends around me talking about his songs in where I was raised. By some pure luck, I chanced upon this James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke video with Chris Martin and there he was, playing David Bowie’s “Heroes”. To say that I fell in love with the song instantly is a, well, lie but that song added new flavour to my music collection. Soon, I began discovering more of Bowie’s hits and even listen to full-length albums and I definitely could see why he had a career lasting decades. The man was an artist and the documentary film by Brett Morgen (director of Jane, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) tells the story why.
Moonage Daydream tells the story of Bowie’s musical career from the funky bright-coloured hair and makeup early days to his last days on Earth narrated by Bowie and featuring his interviews in most if not all of the eras he was musically active. The film was also almost a musical itself in the sense that sometimes there was not much spoken words but just songs playing over.
But the film was also surprising for me. I knew David ventured into various disciplines of the arts, from music to theatre and to films (I even watched Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence where was the male lead alongside Takeshi Kitano and Ryuchi Sakamoto), but never expected Bowie navigated the visual arts scene too. Moonage Daydream took a peek at Bowie’s venture into the visual arts – which in my opinion were a rare and intimate glimpse into the British artist’s personal thoughts and emotions. The audience saw how alone literally or physically Bowie might have felt based on his narration and drawings in the first half of the film, but as the film draws to a near, we see him getting married with Iman in 1992 and one can tell that it really made him happy.
And obviously as a Singaporean fan I squirmed when I saw the blonde-hair Bowie wandering around Far East Plaza, Telok Ayer district, Little India and onboard the iconic yellow-top black taxi – a relic of the past. I hope Singapore was a helpful muse in his work.
This documentary film definitely exceeds my expectations and I gained deeper insights of David Bowie, whom I thought I knew something about. It can be a long film but I thought it was natural considering his career is so long. While targeted for fans of the late British rockstar, I think the film is still suitable for general population if the person at least know or has heard of the name ‘David Bowie’, else the entire 2hrs is going to be just spent explaining or Googling various albums/songs.
The full songs used in Moonage Daydream can be found here: