Moonage Daydream

Moonage Daydream

A cinematic odyssey featuring never-before-seen footage exploring David Bowie's creative and musical journey.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Documentaries, Music
  • Stars: David Bowie, Iman, Lou Reed, Tina Turner, Russell Harty, Dick Cavett, Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Max von Sydow, Charlie Chaplin, Max Schreck, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey, Ken Fordham, Brian Wilshaw, Geoffrey MacCormack, John 'Hutch' Hutchinson, Mike Garson
  • Director: Brett Morgen
  • nathandm-75297 - 26 September 2023
    Not so much a documentary but rather a visual experience
    Bowie is one of those rare artists who is virtually impossible to describe.

    Especially to anyone who has had the misfortune of not being familiar with his incredible catalog of music. And there is absolutely no way any filmmaker could sum up his illustrious and heavily diverse career with a 2-hour film.

    Documentarian Brett Morgan knew this. So, instead of making a standard documentary on a rock icon that follows a very straightforward and linear template, Morgan decided to create not so much a documentary but rather a visual experience that mirrors the career of Bowie complete with his stunningly beautiful music and personal narration that has been compiled from various interviews and audio tapes.

    We hear Bowie describe in his own words his personal life, dealings with fame, and expression in art, as well as his thoughts on existentialism and spirituality. All while being treated to a mesmerizing collage of kaleidoscopic images taken from archival footage, concerts, music videos, interviews, paintings, and films from Bowie's career.

    Moonage Daydream is by the far closest thing we will ever get to a definitive David Bowie film. A film that truly captures the beautiful enigma of Bowie while also showcasing his deeply humanistic and spiritual side, all of which made him one of the greatest and most influential songwriters of the 20th century.

    I never had the pleasure of being able to see Bowie live in concert, but thanks to Brett Morgan, I think I have a slight idea of what that might of been like. And it's otherworldly.
  • resonatorwolf - 8 May 2023
    As a really big fan of Bowie and sincerely thankful for the way his art changed me deeply and continues to be an influence to this day I came to see this with a bit of skepticism. It started off right out of the gate when they used the song hallo spaceboy With the pet shop boys instead of the original one. From there on, The movie seems to be A weird montage with Bowie's voice taken from interviews and ramblings over footage of his concerts. The. Gos knows why they used footage from his outside period but with classical music instead to make them more eerie as if the original music wasn't already enough. Anyway I began skipping parts because it really is boring and I don't see the point to the montage. It seems like one of those montages done to be kept in the background of a disco. Really didn't like it and tried to put in the effort but right about 30 minutes in I gave up. I don't really know who's the target audience . For real Bowie fans I think they'll be disappointed and for someone who doesn't know him I'd say they're about to get a very skewed vision of a great great artist. Oh well..
  • francescoiacono - 11 January 2023
    Wasted opportunity
    As much as I was excited to see Moonage Daydream, the documentary on David Bowie, I could not possibly immagine that the director could get this so utterly wrong. 2.15 hours with Bowie always on the screen, he is the only person talking (sometimes we are not the best at making sense of who/what we are and where we are going). The end result is utterly one-dimensional. Very little background is given on Bowie and how he ended up becoming who he was. Very little mention of what actually happened in his life, the people he met (very little on life in Berlin, not one mention for Lou Reed, Iggy Pop or even Mick Ronson). That little there is on private life is actually almost irritatingly edulcorated (no mention of first wife, of son who is an accomplished director, and nothing on young daughter). Very little new footage (I had seen many bits already). As a documentary is a failure. It does have some nice editing bits, and sound is (as expected) top notch.
  • originlove - 26 November 2022
    A New Spin On The Documentary Apropos To Bowie
    A must see for any fan of Bowie, rock and rollers or new converts waiting in the wings. This blend of his music, words, concerts, interviews are interwoven perfectly with a new spin on the documentary. It's an audio visual art experience with a philosophy that only David could articulate.

    I wish I'd been able to see this in IMAX as it was originally released. If you're able to then at least have a quality sound system and I'd suggest turning off the lights in order to experience the kaleidoscope of colors.

    David's arc of maturity is well expressed here. He was always authentically, and unabashedly, himself but we're allowed to travel along with him as he changes. And perhaps you may have your own metamorphosis during this experience.

    There are moments where you feel like a spectator and some that are so personal that I felt as if he were speaking directly to me. It's bittersweet knowing I was interacting with a pieces of him that we never knew existed. Don't blink, listen well and stay until the VERY end or you'll miss a sliver of the Thin White Duke himself, which can equate to a mountain, at times.
  • ekin-36432 - 19 October 2022
    a must see for every Bowie fan
    Calling this a documentary is an understatement at best. It's a celebratory experience, a visual and audial exhibition, a tribute to Bowie.

    I loved every single second of it, and boy, you gotta pay attention to every single second. It's a tasty feast, a stimulant for your senses. It's simply a masterpiece which I will be watching again and again.

    I can maybe summarize this as 'a bit like Lynch's Art of Life but in a very Bowie-way'.

    After seeing those movies which have been over-praised even though they have been commercially dramatic and not captivating anything about the actual artist(s) -such as Elvis, Elton John, Mercury-, this is just refreshing. It's so well-edited that it actually feels like Bowie has been a part of the production.

    I will now go back and rethink all my 10/10 reviews and decrease them to 9.
  • Horst_In_Translation - 6 October 2022
    This film could not be any closer to reality in the best way imaginable
    "Moonage Daydream" is a new 2022 movie and I would say that it is in my top5 from the year now and maybe even sitting in the top spot for documentary films and there is a good chance it could stay this way. I thought it was a very inspiring, almost mind-blowing movie at times. I will elaborate a little later on what I mean by that. For now, let us take a look at the basics maybe: At 135 minutes, it is a pretty long movie, but it did not feel that way and occasionally flew by even and for all I care, it could have run for another 15 minutes, maybe 30 minutes even and I would not have minded. I am sure there would have been enough to tell from David Bowie's life or from David Bowie himself. He is of course the one the entire thing is about. The one person who was in charge of the production here as writer and director was Brett Morgen though. The latter is a really prolific documentary filmmaker since the mid90s or if you count his really, really early work, then already since the late 1980s even. There is one short film credited to him from the 80s already, but then a long break apparently, at least in terms of credits and shortly before the new millennium, he got relatively prolific then. This is also by far not the only music documentary from Morgen. He worked on a series even that focused on Black Music and a theatrical Kurt Cobain documentary for example. He was also nominated for an Oscar back in 2000 already, so for a film he shot when he was around the age of 30 and now he is another two decades older, but I feel, especially with him not being a rookie at the Oscars, that this documentary will get him his second nomination and perhaps first win even. Music documentaries have done great there lately, no matter if they were about background musicians or about Amy Winehouse. Let's see what awards season has in store for him and I would not be surprised if he takes the crown in 2023 in this category.

    So big praise I have for this film apparently and I must state here that I am/was not a gigantic Bowie fan before watching, but I liked him for sure, enjoyed some of his music and like him even more now. My two favorites songs are probably two of his most known, namely Major Tom and Modern Love and the latter I came across first on Frances Ha I remember and since then it did not leave my head/ears. So I liked it of course that these two songs could also be heard briefly here during this film, but there were also many others that may or may not be really famous and popular, but that I have not come across before watching this film. However, I am glad I came across them now and I will try to remember, maybe even put one or two on my playlist. You often hear music in the background and also sometimes see Bowie perform. But the focus is as much on what he did in general. There is so much interview footage in here really that you get a good insight into his artistic life. Also into how he was not just a musician, but also a writer and he said on one occasion he knew he was a good writer, but he was not sure if he was a good painter, so he canceled exhibitions with paintings from him and the world did not get to see them (yet). But what I found most interesting and inspiring from this entire thing here was his take on life and making the days count. When he is asked if he worships any deity, he says that he believes in some higher energy form, so maybe he is an agnostic, but what he worships most is life. He keeps elaborating on that on a few occasions how you should spend your days with what makes you happy, so you will not bear any grudges when you are old and he also said that he knew/knows many who do bear such grudges, but he is not one of them and he would immediately live through it all once more. That was a really beautiful statement and in a way what everybody should hope for in terms of how to see things when they reach an old age, retirement. This look at how life is limited and you only have so many days is also something I found interesting when he said that it is something that you really only learn to appreciate when you get older because it sets free some kind of energy within you.

    Apart from these mind-blowing insights, there is also more linked to Bowie's personal life and career. For example, we see that he had really many groupies the way we knew it from the Beatles or Stones, but in terms of solo artists he was surely up there looking at the quantity of fans he had. But not just girls, also boys. Or we understand that there was significant career change for him, like how he took a long break on at least one occasion and afterwards he returned with lots of drive, announced a new tour, new album and also had a different style. More lighter style. The commentator said that Bowie with his then new songs was not ahead of his environment anymore and just going with the flow, so he became more mainstream, but that was not meant as a negative criticism, but as a train of thought that means he is easier to appreciate and also he could effortlessly fill stadiums with tens of thousands of people. You see this gigantic amount on one occasion really, but also in smaller dimensions on other occasions. We find out about Bowie's thoughts related to love, how he sees it as something getting in the way of his creativity because it moves his thoughts elsewhere away from his art, but he also says that once he found a partner and married her, he was not too supportive of these words of his anymore. I guess that is what love does with you. Or true love at least. The moment when he responds during one interview that he does not plan a new tour and instead wants to spend all the time he can with his significant other was pretty cute. Very loving partner, maybe even a family man. There was no talk about him having any children, which does not necessarily have to mean he did not have any.

    There were also some brief comments about his own parents from a show where he was a guest and was asked about them and we realize his dad died early and the relationship with his mother was not easy, but they somehow got along at that point. I found it a bit sad to hear that he never really cared about kids stuff, never had stuffed animals as a boy and that maybe his dark side was also brought a bit through that already. But as he makes absolutely clear on one occasion, he also has a very light side with tons of positive emotions that many people maybe did not really associate him with. If we look at the basics again and slightly away from the specific contents of the documentary, we do not have a narrator here who leads us through the film. Bowie does that himself and I personally feel it is becoming more and more common that, especially in terms of documentaries dealing with subjects/people from the past, they do without traditional one-person narration and it consists more of many small snippets and extracts. I like both styles, don't really have one favorite. Sadly it must be said that Bowie is in a way also a thing or man of the past because he is no longer with us. But of course many still listen to his music, me included, and that is a great thing and probably many more will listen to it. I somehow felt that Bowie seemed always pretty agile and young here, even when he wasn't anymore. You could see it when we saw him with other musicians like Tina Turner who is also quite old now and was still pretty young back then. Now I see she was born almost ten years before Bowie. Okay, that I did not expect. Maybe she just looked young or it was somebody else, but I thought it was her. And I see Bowie did not reach a too old age sadly, not even 70. Pity. I hope he rests in peace. By the way, this documentary is also named after a song from him we then hear of course on one occasion. I did not know said song before, so the title was a mystery to me. Still a good choice. Not pretentious and can only be associated with him. Besides, the moon rocks. Always has, always will.

    Another quote about Bowie that I really liked was when we find out how many different talents he had and how he constantly reinvented himself. Sure, music was always his top priority, but I also know he acted in some movies. I watched a fantasy film this summer at the open air cinema in fact where he played a troll king. Now that was quite something. I don't want to write something about every other area of profession where he delivered because it would simply get too much, but I also liked the way he had with words, also spontaneously. I am not sure how accurate it was why he left (Britain) to live in Los Angeles if he really hated it there so much because this is nothing people do, even if you want to expand your horizons. You move to a place you have visited before and where you know you like it there, don't you? Still, the parallel with the fly he was spotting in his milk at the same time was extraordinary and very creative and also showed us a bit his thought process. I am equally unsure if it is really true that he was an introvert and not a people person or if it was just a phrase and a lie because clearly he was looking for the limelight, but who am I to judge? The one thing there is no denying is that he was a true chameleon and I also liked the idea that he was a canvas and we could never be sure if we see the real David Bowie or that we could actually be sure we didn't and it was always a different exhibit we were witnessing. Finally, as I am approaching the end, I would like to say that I liked his shoe-related response (also included in the trailer) whether those are shoes for a straight, gay or bisexual man. It is just shoe-shoes and this reaction we should keep in mind when we talk about genders, sexualities etc. It does not matter what you are, there is no need to give it all a name, constantly make it controversial. The road to happiness is to just let it exist and see it as something normal without any hullabaloo. Big thumbs-up for "Moonage Daydream".