David Bowie

Celebrating the magnetic screen performer whose fascination for film fed an insatiable creative drive.

TV made Bowie a star in 1972 when his glam-rock alter-ego Ziggy Stardust beamed alien sex-magic directly into Britain’s living rooms via Top of the Pops. His engagement with film, theatre and design forged his high-concept approach to pop stardom and supercharged the evolution of music video. Bowie’s big-screen acting ambitions were first realised in 1967, but it was in 1976 that brilliant casting made him The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was drawn to learn from great directors, and worked with Nic Roeg, Martin Scorsese, Nagisa Oshima, David Lynch and Alan Clarke. It can be hard to look beyond Bowie ‘the star’ to appreciate the characters he portrayed, but he was always more interested in personas than in the craft of naturalism. Six years on from his passing, Bowie’s star still sparkles brightly.

- Season co-programmers Rhidian Davis and Leïla Taleb.


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Merry Christmas Mr. LawrenceMerry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

War1983123 minsDirector: Nagisa Oshima

An unflinching study of brutality and resistance, fear and desire in a Japanese WWII POW camp, directed with verve by Oshima and starring David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tom Conti.

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Christiane F.Christiane F.

Drama1981131 minsDirector: Uli Edel

David Bowie’s image and music gives brooding energy to this tale of a junkie sex-worker in 70s Berlin.

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Just a GigoloJust a Gigolo

War1978106 minsDirector: David Hemmings

David Bowie stars as the soldier-turned-drifter-turned-dancer for rent, in David Hemmings' Berlin melodrama set at the end of the Great War.

Bowie at the Movies: Influences and Soundtracks

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Drama1982109 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Jeanne Moreau plays a jaded brothel madam caught up in the violent sexual awakening of Brad Davis' naïve young sailor in Fassbinder's fever dream of subversive eroticism.

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The Cabinet of Dr. CaligariThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Horror191977 minsSilentDirector: Robert Wiene

One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s expressionist nightmare shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form.

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Science Fiction1927150 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang’s expressionist, dystopian vision is one of the first science fiction feature films, and is arguably the most influential.

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Radio OnRadio On

Road movie1979100 minsDirector: Chris Petit

Chris Petit's cult classic is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema – a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie.