Tribute

Tribute: A brief history of David Bowie in the movies

The multi-faceted singer and artist notched up several idiosyncratic film credits.

Multi-hyphenate talent David Bowie, who has died of cancer at the age of 69, worked in several musical genres over a career that spanned over 45 years. Bowie was also a producer and an artist, a fashion icon, a spokesperson for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men, and an actor.

Here is a short film from 1969, the year Bowie released his first hit, Space Oddity. Bowie plays a spectral figure who steps out of a painting being made by an artist. The spooky short is by Michael Armstrong, who went on to make the horror film Mark of the Devil and the parody House of the Long Shadow, and is fittingly called The Image.

Play

In 1972, Bowie released the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, featuring a fictional rock star who communicates with extraterrestrial beings. Ziggy was one of Bowie’s many idiosyncratic personas, which made him the perfect choice as the lead in Nicholas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Bowie plays an extra-terrestrial who arrives on Earth to find water for his drought-stricken planet.

Play

For Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983), taboo-busting Japanese director Nagisa Oshima cast the androgynous and allegedly bisexual Bowie as a prisoner of war at a Japanese internment camp during WWII. The camp commander, played by Ryuichi Sakamoto, develops a homo-erotic fixation with Bowie’s character, who uses this obsession to lead a rebellion against the Japanese.

Play

One of the most unusual characters played by Bowie is the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Martin Scorsese’s controversial adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel of the same name is an unconventional depiction of the life of Jesus Christ (played by Willem Dafoe).

Play

Bowie also seems a natural choice to play Andy Warhol in Julian Schanbel’s 1996 biopic of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Bowie plays Warhol, Basquiat’s mentor, as an “an art world Wizard of Oz, a fraud and a nervous wreck straining desperately for each noncommittal pose”, writes Janet Maslin in The New York Times.

Play

More persona-collecting for Bowie, this time in Christopher Nolan’s richly atmospheric The Prestige (2006), about rival magicians in England in the late 19th century. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are the leads, while Bowie portrays Nikola Tesla, the brilliant physicist and inventor whose teleporting machine plays an important part in the plot.

Play

In the fashion world satire Zoolander, David Bowie plays himself – an effortlessly cool and eternal fashion icon.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

A phone so stunning that it deserves its own photoshoot

Presenting the Moto X4, crafted to perfection.

Precision-crafted glass and metal design, an anodised aluminium frame, easy to hold and featuring beautiful contours, the Moto X4 is crafted to perfection indeed.

With the distinctive placement of the rear cameras, this phone makes a great subject for a photographic series.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

The light reveals the fluidity of its body; curves that fit perfectly in the contours of a palm.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

Reclining on a bed of satin, the glass-encased phone blends into the folds of the luxurious fabric.

The slimness, seamlessness and solidity of the phone make for a great profile shot.

A stunning design which is IP68 rated water-resistant too, it is as beautiful as it is strong.

We partnered with photographer Gaurav Sawn to create this series. Says Gaurav, “The glass sandwich design looks extremely good and the reflections on the back panel make the phone stand out. This is a phone that is best used without a case. The curved corners were also very comfortable to hold. All in all, really enjoyed shooting this phone!”

While this phone is elegant and crafted to perfection, it is also extremely tough, being protected from scratches with Corning® Gorilla® Glass that stretches all the way around.

You don’t need to sacrifice of performance either. It’s packed with a 2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 processor and comes with a TurboPower™ Charger which means hours of power in minutes!

For the music lover, this phone is a boon. With simultaneous connectivity of up to four Bluetooth® audio devices at the same time, you can build your own stereo system without worrying about cables.

The dual rear cameras – a 12MP that lets you focus faster and get great results even on dark, cloudy days, and an 8 MP camera, with wide angle lens makes your most ambitious photos look all the more impressive.

To get your hands on the Moto X4, and experience perfection, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Motorola and not by the Scroll editorial team.