Soft Communication

Ideas Zeitgeist Blog

David Bowie

blessedisthememory asked: David Bowie?

Love: Basquiat – I don’t actually love any movies Bowie is in, weirdly enough. I admire this one though, despite my issues with it (Schnabel’s need to insert himself into the narrative via Gary Oldman and the tastefully ignorant/naive ideas about race). Giving natural performances is not really Bowie’s thing. There’s an intentional theatrical artificiality to his acting that can either work very strongly for or against the material. A few actors have taken on Andy Warhol and Bowie’s version, all loose jawed accent, head twitches, nervous face-touching and crossed leg standing, is jarring at first. Like a loose collection of tics put together to represent a person. After repeated viewings, I started to see more in it. There is something small and sweet about Bowie’s Warhol that isn’t really there in other films. The emphasis is usually on the remoteness, the blankness, the bitchiness. His take made me think of that Lou Reed lyric in Songs for Drella, “give people little presents so they remember me.” That person, that facet.

Like – The Prestige: This is a brief but cool as ice cameo. Bowie’s Tesla is restrained and almost funereal, but his presence is everything. It has more charisma than any of the other dudes running around doing magic tricks and acting like crazy people (this is a movie I like, by the way). Nolan was right to cast him. The choice says everybody else in this story is just an actor. Tesla is a rock star.

Hate – The Linguini Incident: Usually, I will watch any old piece of crap until the bitter end because a) I am lazy and b) I get a weird, squiggly sort of pleasure out of bad art. I couldn’t get through this one though. Oof. Painful.