The life and times of David Bowie have been explored by several scholars and critics who set out to discover unknown details about the pioneering figure’s adventures. Now, filmmaker Brett Morgen has taken on the challenge to make an impressionistic documentary about Bowie’s unique artistic vision.
“That’s what excites me in these endeavours, is that I go into film like Bowie knowing that there’s 27 books about him,” Morgen said. “So if you want to know that stuff, you can go do that. But what can I offer that you can’t get from those books? That’s generally the first question as I approach it: What can I offer in this space of cinema?”
He added, “Bowie can’t be defined — he can be experienced — and there’s a reason for that. It’s like all art, if you unravel the mystery, it’s like why? Just let it be. It’s in fact, the way he writes songs was often with consonants or sounds, but the combination of those sounds create feelings of warmth or alienation or isolation or whatever the case may be.”
This project has been in the works for a long time since Morgen actually met Bowie in 2007 to discuss a hybrid documentary about the icon. While the project had been stalled, Morgen approached the estate in 2016 to make an experimental movie instead of incorporating common documentary elements such as interviews.
According to the filmmaker, he had a definite vision of the project right from the start: “I knew what I wanted to film, I knew how I wanted the film to open, and I can tell you what was gonna happen in minute 13.” After its premiere at Cannes, the documentary has started garnering attention from fans worldwide.
Watch the new trailer below.