David Bowie (1947-2016)

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hearthesilence
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#26 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:08 pm

Still stunned by this. An artist I had immense respect for, not to mention enjoyed so much over the years.

And yes, the fact that he just released an EXCELLENT album was a perfect parting gift to the world. I thought the days of a truly solid Bowie album were long gone, but Heathen showed surprising sparks of life and Reality was even better. Then after a long hiatus The Next Day was surprisingly excellent, and along with this one, I was incredibly excited to see Bowie back in amazing form. Love those last two albums, and such a shame there won't be more.

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Lars Von Truffaut
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#27 Post by Lars Von Truffaut » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:19 pm

Drucker wrote:I have never read that Bowie had only one day to work on it, but yes, cleaning up Iggy's supposed mess was certainly a tall order!

The wikipedia page for the album touches on it in both the "Recording History" and "Alternative Mixes" sections. Sorry, should have mentioned that from the start. #-o

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#28 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:37 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Love those last two albums, and such a shame there won't be more.
I read that the musicians who worked on Blackstar said there was more recorded, but not released yet. That's obviously up to his people now as to whether it sees the light of day.

The amount of tributes pouring in today from all walks of life has been astounding.


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barryconvex
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#30 Post by barryconvex » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:35 pm

i hate to admit it but he was never my favorite. i always thought his greatest talent was surrounding himself with true greatness-mick ronson, lou reed, robert fripp, and most importantly brian eno. he certainly has a great catalog of songs but he always seemed like the weakest link on all of them...i might be wrong but i always thought he stole the ziggy stardust persona from eno and roxy music...

with that said he was an unbelievably charismatic performer and brilliant actor. his pontius pilate in the last temptation of christ being my favorite of his roles along with his work in the man who fell to earth. anybody who had a career that lasted as long as bowie's was obviously doing something right but with the exception of some of his better known singles i just never really fell in love with his music the way so many others have...

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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#31 Post by Werewolf by Night » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:28 pm

What a touching tribute. Thank you for sharing that.

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djproject
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#32 Post by djproject » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:08 am

For me, David Bowie was a musical/creative uncle. I have not listened to his discography and I have only five of his albums on my shelf: Low, "Heroes", Lodger, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), Earthling. But at the same time, he's been a presence in life and has left impressions upon me ... in his own way =]. This included, but not limited to being a steady presence on MTV in the early days (my mother observed me liking "Let's Dance" and my father noticed I liked "China Girl") to telling the tale of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (my parents had the clear green vinyl version). He certainly has associations to a lot of artists (not just musicians) I like from Blur to Nine Inch Nails to Smashing Pumpkins to The Cure to Joy Division. And when you consider what he has done, he's done a lot. Like...a lot. I am very grateful for what he has done and I'm sure that gratefulness will only grow with time.

To me, what's impressive is that it seems everyone has come out to offer some kind of tribute. Of course you will get the hardcore fans who could remember glamming themselves up back in 1972. But you also have the very casual fans who know a Bowie song or two ... and even love it when/wherever it plays. But then you have just people who may not be interested in Bowie (or his varied interests) but who recognize what he has done. Hell, you have the German Cultural Minister recognizing him as the man who helped bring down the Berlin Wall (a very likely, if not very fair, assessment). But that to me is the power of his influence and reach. He, like his varying creative personas, was many things to many people and in the end, it's still a man from Brixton named David Robert Jones. The beautiful thing is that his life made room for nearly everybody. Talk about being a living star on earth. And now he is amongst the stars.

Farewell, DRJ. May God's love be with you.

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Thornycroft
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#33 Post by Thornycroft » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:09 am

The otherwise awful trailer for The Man Who Fell To Earth wonderfully credits him as 'David Bowie - Phenomenon of Our Time'. Sounds about right.

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hearthesilence
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#34 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:13 am

Bowie must certainly be the greatest rock star actor ever. If not, he at least had the greatest filmography of them all. There's simply no one else that comes close, though George Harrison's contributions as a film producer are perhaps greater.

Dissatisfied with Sound + Vision, I once put together a box set retrospective modeled on James Brown's Star Time - the gold standard for box sets, and one of the definitive retrospective of any artist ever compiled. This would've been around 2004, before his last two (and surprisingly excellent) albums. To the end, even through the '80s and '90s, there was still a worthwhile track here and there, proof that his gifts never left him.

The best albums are still his glam rock masterpieces (Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane), his great "transitional" record that may very well be his best (Station to Station), his Eno trilogy (Low, Heroes, Lodger) and the great summation of his classic period, Scary Monsters. The great singles on his spottier '70s albums are collected on many compilations, but these albums remain essential.

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djproject
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#35 Post by djproject » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:47 pm

http://filmmakermagazine.com/88919-watc ... pVJu61IiM8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think there was something more substantial than that clip but regardless, it does not surprise me he would have been interested in pursuing it at some point.

At least his son Duncan is living that dream ... and I'm sure it is for himself first =].

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R0lf
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#36 Post by R0lf » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:39 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Bowie must certainly be the greatest rock star actor ever. If not, he at least had the greatest filmography of them all. There's simply no one else that comes close, though George Harrison's contributions as a film producer are perhaps greater.
Elvis? He definitely surpasses Bowie in terms of hugely popular and prolific movies and music. Bowie's filmography might have more *artistic* merit but Elvis also had huge box office.

Edit. And also living Cher definitely gives Bowie a run for his money being a widely acclaimed and award winning actress as well!

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#37 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:31 am

She's not a rock singer.

Was Elvis a good actor? I always figured he was pretty much cast as a pretty face and not much else.

If for just something like The Prestige alone, I would say he was probably the best to be of both fields who did it the best. I remember Bryan Fuller saying he wanted him for Hannibal, to play Lecter's uncle in what I'm guessing would have been a series of flashbacks. I can imagine that in his weakened state he couldn't have done it. And way back when he was thought of to play The Joker when Ivan Reitman was considering doing a movie version of Batman, after the success of Ghostbusters.

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knives
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#38 Post by knives » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:03 am

Elvis actually has a number of very good and interesting performances even if most of his films were nonsensical fluff.

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R0lf
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#39 Post by R0lf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:45 am

Elvis had movies that were Elvis movies and were built around him and were hugely popular for it just like his music. I just checked his filmography and there are a whopping 31 Elvis movies all based around him! In terms of someone who was hugely successful across both platforms no one has really upped the Elvis spectacle.

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MichaelB
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#40 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:48 am

R0lf wrote:Elvis had movies that were Elvis movies and were built around him and were hugely popular for it just like his music. I just checked his filmography and there are a whopping 31 Elvis movies all based around him! In terms of someone who was hugely successful across both platforms no one has really upped the Elvis spectacle.
You're not comparing like with like. As you say, Elvis's films, by and large, were self-consciously "Elvis vehicles", and were essentially spin-offs from his music career. But where's the Elvis equivalent of, say, The Man Who Fell To Earth or Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence - i.e. performances that are so extraordinarily distinctive that the fact that he had a parallel creative career in another discipline is completely irrelevant?

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knives
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#41 Post by knives » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:19 am

King Creole is at least a pseudo-equivalent to The Man Who Fell to Earth insofar as you could connect it to his career, but it stands as a strong and unique performance worth admiring outside of Elvis' musical career. There's no equal, as far as I know, to smaller roles like The Hunger or Last Temptation of Christ though.

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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#42 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:22 am

Cher is most definitely a rock singer. I don't know if I would consider Bowie a major film actor, but his persona was big enough to speak for itself. The Elvis comparison is probably apt. Cher, Tom Waits, and Dwight Yoakam are all better actors, but lose the sheer presence of Bowie.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#43 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:31 am

She doesn't sing rock music, except for possibly that period in the late 80's. Pop-rock at best.

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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#44 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:55 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:She doesn't sing rock music, except for possibly that period in the late 80's. Pop-rock at best.
Have you heard that David Bowie song about a gnome. That is much more fey than cher's dipiest pop confection. Not only did she sing rock music, she sang David Bowies rock music with David bowie.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#45 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:28 pm

A couple of mates have just recorded this tribute.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwpq59OHztU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#46 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:46 pm

Zot! wrote:
flyonthewall2983 wrote:She doesn't sing rock music, except for possibly that period in the late 80's. Pop-rock at best.
Have you heard that David Bowie song about a gnome. That is much more fey than cher's dipiest pop confection. Not only did she sing rock music, she sang David Bowies rock music with David bowie.
She certainly has the voice and stage presence for it, but my point is is that she's never gone in that direction with the recorded material that she's done. Like I kind of hope Lady Gaga does someday.

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hearthesilence
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#47 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:10 pm

Regardless of classification, I agree, there is merit to Cher's music, and she was a fine actress, she had a run of fine performances in the '80s, but none of these people (and not Elvis either) have delivered a performance or had a similar presence like Bowie did in The Man Who Fell To Earth or Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. (To Cher's credit, her performances usually involved blending in with the working class surroundings wholly and organically, exactly what those films demanded, so we're probably comparing apples to oranges.)

Also, none of Elvis' performances reflect the greatness of his best recordings - if anything they're detrimental to his musical legacy. Bowie's, on the other hand, do, but even stripped of that context, they manage to hold up as startling, unique performances on their own.

And I love Tom Waits as an actor, but he's never defined a film quite the way Bowie did in The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Here's Jonathan Rosenbaum on Bowie's performance in that film.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#48 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:18 pm

Although Bowie rarely had leading roles, his smaller parts were usually very well-realized. His interpretation of Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ was a wholly unique approach to that character and his impersonation of Andy Warhol in Basquiat was spot-on.

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colinr0380
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#49 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:57 pm

There's also his role in Just A Gigolo too.

I think Man Who Fell To Earth stands out so much because it is one of those situations where an excellent film in its own right is bolstered by the perfect performer for that role (Mick Jagger in Performance is in that same class - maybe its just that rock stars are at their best in Nicolas Roeg films?). Both the material and the performer are elevated higher by that collaboration.

I'm thinking this through as I'm writing it, so its a stream of consciousness post but it sort of comes down to Bowie and Jagger for me in this period, which kind of works to draw a line under the period of the 'band' films: the films starring groups such as the Beatles or the Monkees. As much as the band films seemed to be making a point by emphasising that the various band members could play characters and could be actual protagonists of a film instead of just anonymous background players or special guest stars wheeled on for a cameo performance in all those beach party films of the 50s and their ilk, it feels like Bowie and Jagger were the new breed of individual musicians making their individualistic and idiosyncratic marks on cinema. So we start to see things like Mick Jagger in Ned Kelly, or even say Bob Dylan in Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.

Its a bit difficult to define but after that more experimental and collaborative period in wich famous names get to experiment and try stuff in a new medium whilst at the same time ensuring funding for a film, we seem to start getting the musicians turning to acting as a kind of necessary expansion of their brand or persona into a new medium, and its all getting interestingly mixed up with the rise of music videos too, which is almost forcing musicians to have to turn into screen actors as simply just another part of a multimedia campaign required for their upcoming album. While Cher, and I'd say Madonna too, got beyond this for a time to actually turn in some extremely fine performances as serious film leads (while say Tina Turner only briefly dabbled with her role in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and the old style, though dazzling, single 'cameo' scene in Tommy), it was a new generation with different preoccupations and challenges to deal with in an industry moving away from introspective arthouse to more blockbuster fare. The kind of fare that seems to actively require the energy of 'performers' more than the introspection of 'actors'.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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antnield
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Re: David Bowie 1947-2016

#50 Post by antnield » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:06 pm

colinr0380 wrote:There's also his role in Just A Gigolo too.
Which he famously referred to as "my 32 Elvis movies rolled into one".

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