The role of an extraterrestrial in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth was Bowie’s first and, perhaps, the most dramatic appearance in big cinema. The 4k restoration of the film will be screened in Russia for the first time.
A humanoid alien Thomas Jerome Newton comes to Earth in search of water for his planet suffering from a severe drought. However, as he builds a successful business in order to construct a space vehicle to ship water to his planet, he finds himself entangled in corporate games and an unplanned love affair. With its non-linear narrative and experimental montage, the film is a philosophical fable as much as it is a sci-fi drama.
Reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust, Bowie’s character also became a prototype for the Thin White Duke from the album The Man Who Sold the World, which was released soon after the film.
Bowie’s partners for the film are Candy Clark, nominated for an Oscar for American Graffiti (1973) and Rip Torn. The screenplay is based on a novel by Walter Tevis, who also wrote scripts for The Hustler (1961) by Robert Rossen and Martin Scorsese’s The Colour of Money (1986).
The screening is part of the three-day retrospective of films with or about David Bowie shown prior to the launch of the Russian translation of On Bowie by British philosopher Simon Critchley at Garage Art Book Fair.
The Man Who Fell to Earth
Dir. Nicolas Roeg. 1976, UK, 140 min