Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

ziggystardustmovieThis documents the last concert Bowie gave as Ziggy. Using handheld cameras, D.A. Pennebaker shoots mainly from the front row. The result is pure performance. What once was dim is now rich velvet black — stark lighting schemes, as though the concert had beamed in from deepest, darkest space. It’s a murky film, but the remaster is a big improvement.

At this point Bowie was Ziggy, an alien even to himself. So the movie is a stage-bound portrait of a rock star caught up in the facts of his dramatic presentation; the character seems to have caught up with him. Sitting in the makeup chair, he looks shagged and fagged and fashed, at one remove from his surroundings. It is a bold, ridiculous look: shaved eyebrows; kimonos; lots of foundation; a red mullet; much miming. And the band shreds.

God, he was good.

About Jack Cormack

Email Jack at jackyboy916@gmail.com.