Thoughts on The Man Who Fell To Earth

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:58 PM By Simon

-A rather brilliant, thoughtful sci-fi in a time when Star Wars rendered such rare. Visually haunting, anyway.

-On some note, Tilda Swinton should play David Bowie. I planted the seed, Hollywood, make it happen.

-Holy shit, Thin White Beast-era Bowie is some kind of androgynous beautiful. And is that not the definition of an ever-lasting sex symbol? Not someone like Megan Fox, who sure, is hot, but has an expiration date. People like Bowie and Swinton and, to some extent, Cate Blanchett (ahem), who appeal to everyone, of any gender or orientation. Who anyone can stare at and not feel weird.

-Well, they will feel weird, but that's because they're staring at someone.

-Which is rude.

-I get the feeling the Michael Clayton poster (the good one) was inspired by this poster.

-Candy Clarke is surely the week link here, which is saying something, because she's rather good.

-Tell me, was it, like, Hollywood creed of the seventies for everyone to go full-frontal?

-As for Criterion supplements, not much to speak of. Interview with Candy Clarke and Rip Torn about characters, Bowie, script, all that. Original trailer, production notes.

-What I like most about Bowie, in the infinite ways I like him (though, strangely, I'm not too crazy for his music, or at least a lot of it), is that he just exudes the whole alien-but-at-the-same-time-tragically-human air that is essential for this role, an alien from a dying planet sent to the Planet of Water (yo) to bring some back (whether salt water would suffice is never addressed). He must be confused (but not the absurd amount of fish-out-of-water someone else would've approached it with, because you have to assume aliens of such technological achievemant would do some research on the planet they were invading, naive, grow to world-weary cynicism, keep a relatively frosty demeanor, but underneath all that, he is still just longing to return to his family, who we can assume are long dead, as with everyone else of his planet.

-Seriously, of all his many film roles (hello, Tesla), this has to be my favorite.


Hal said...

soooo weird, i just read about this movie on netflix today. might need to check it out.

July 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM
Alex said...

Oh lovely thoughts! I've been meaning to see this one for quite a while, I'll have to speed it up.

And Tilda as Bowie? Genius casting.

July 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM
SugaryCynic said...

I <3 all facets of David Bowie. Also OHMYGOD ALIEN DONG. And a biopic of Bowie with Tilda Swinton would ROCK.

July 21, 2010 at 7:39 PM
Darren said...

I respect this film a lot more than I enjoy it. It's certainly the most daringly wonderful role in his filmography. And it's certainly better than the glorified softcore porn that was The Hunger.

July 22, 2010 at 12:34 AM
Crowley said...

A great and bizarre movie.

July 22, 2010 at 5:46 AM
"Yojimbo_5" said...

Nicholas Roeg will mess with your head every time. I recommend "Walkabout," by the way. When this was first released, a lot of the nudity was scrapped for it to attain an "R," and only when it emerged from first-run houses and started showing up in second run art-houses did the "X" version appear. I loved how the tech that Bowie's alien provided was regressed when he fell out of favor—I've seen more than one example of that in my life-time. And the personal mud-bath sex scenes always amused me, as it made the alien race more asexual...ya don't see that every day. I wish there were more sci-fi out there doing stuff like this and keeping the ray-guns holstered.

July 22, 2010 at 11:56 PM
"Yojimbo_5" said...

P.S. The guy who wrote this book also wrote "the Hustler." Talk about eclectic...

July 22, 2010 at 11:57 PM