THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER presents
WATCH THAT MAN: DAVID BOWIE, MOVIE STAR
The week-long series focusing on the enigmatic musician’s work in front of the camera includes THE HUNGER, MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and rarely seen films from the BBC archives
New York, NY (June 27, 2013) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today a weeklong series focusing on David Bowie, the actor. 2013 has seen the re-emergence of the always fascinating musician, performer and artist with the release of a new album (“The Next Day”) and a sold-out museum exhibition in London (David Bowie Is). In honor of his genius for shape shifting, the Film Society will present Watch That Man: David Bowie, Movie Star (August 2-8), a retrospective of what is arguably his finest work on the big screen—plus two special rarities from the BBC archives, one of which has never been seen in the U.S.
Film Comment Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Gavin Smith, said, “David Bowie's move into film acting was inevitable given his charismatic presence and keen sense of how to constantly reinvent himself in iconographic terms. His film roles set up an intriguing and unique dialogue with his shape-shifting image as a musical performer. Some roles intersect with phases of his musical career as in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and JUST A GIGOLO. Others take off in bold new directions that had captured the pop culture zeitgeist as in THE HUNGER and ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS. And of course he was also one of the first music artists to harness the potential of the music video in the pre-MTV era.”
Bowie’s turn as Catherine Deneuve’s vampiric partner in Tony Scott’s THE HUNGER (1983) opens the series with a special midnight screening on Friday, August 2, followed the next day with his collaboration with Muppet master Jim Henson in a Family Films presentation of LABYRINTH (1986) and a screening of his risk-taking performance in Nagisa Oshima’s homoerotic drama set in a Japanese POW camp in MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (1982).
Two special highlights of the series are rarities culled from the BBC’s archives including the U.S. Premiere of Alan Clarke’s musical adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s BAAL with Bowie in the title role, and a rare screening of Alan Yentob’s BBC documentary CRACKED ACTOR (1975) which will be paired with D.A. Pennebaker’s concert film ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS – THE MOTION PICTURE (1973).
Additional screenings include a very rare showing of CHRISTIANE F (1981), Ulrich Edel’s harrowing drama about a 13-year old girl’s heroin addiction featuring a Bowie concert performance of “Station to Station” (as well as an after party at Film Society following the screening), and David Hemmings’ JUST A GIGOLO (1978), in which Bowie shared the screen with both Marlene Dietrich (in her last appearance on the big screen) and Kim Novak. The screening of JUST A GIGOLO will be attended by Joshua Sinclair, the film’s Executive Producer. Other films include Julian Temple’s love letter to the bohemian scene of late 1950s London, ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (1986), Julian Schnabel’s BASQUIAT (1996) featuring Bowie’s portrayal of Andy Warhol, and Christopher Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE (2006), in which Bowie portrayed inventor Nicola Tesla.
All screenings will take place at the Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, June 27. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. A three-film package is $30; $24 for students and seniors (62+); and $21 for Film Society members. Discount prices apply with the purchase of tickets to three films or more. Please note: Special $6 ticket price for the Family Films screening of LABYRINTH. The screenings of BAAL are free-to-the-public! Visit www.FilmLinc.com for complete film festival information.
Films, Descriptions & Schedule
ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (1986) 108min
Director: Julian Temple
A cameo-packed kaleidoscopic musical pastiche in which a teenage photographer pursues his elusive dream girl through the bohemian scene of late 1950s London, with Bowie as the smooth-talking advertising exec who offers to get him into the big time.
BAAL (1982) 60min
Director: Alan Clarke
The U.S. Premiere of BBC-TV’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s first play, directed by the legendary Alan Clarke and featuring five musical performances. Bowie is debauched artist-poet Baal, who defies bourgeois society and roams the countryside womanizing, brawling and, finally, committing murder. With the great Zoë Wanamaker as Baal’s eventually devastated mistress Sophie.
BASQUIAT (1996) 106min
Director: Julian Schnabel
Bowie costars in this biopic about painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright), playing the artist’s friend and collaborator Andy Warhol, in a performance widely hailed as the definitive onscreen incarnation of Warhol. Bowie even wore Andy’s actual wig, glasses, and jacket for the role.
Special event! Afterparty with DJ: a co-presentation with Viva Radio
CHRISTIANE F (1981) 131min
Director: Ulrich Edel
Country: West Germany
A rare screening of the harrowing true story of a 13-year-old Berlin girl’s heroin-addiction hell, featuring a soundtrack of songs from Bowie’s 1977-79 Berlin phase—plus, when Christiane (Natja Brunckhorst) attends a Bowie concert, a stunning live performance of “Station to Station.”
CRACKED ACTOR (1975) 53min
Director: Alan Yentob
A candid, haunting and ultra-rare documentary portrait shot during the 1974 Diamond Dogs tour featuring much behind the scenes footage that reveal Bowie’s fragile mental state as well as live performances of nine songs. In 1987 Bowie commented “I was so blocked … so stoned … I'm amazed I came out of that period. When I see that now I cannot believe I survived it. I was so close to really throwing myself away physically, completely.”
THE HUNGER (1983) 99min
Director: Tony Scott
Perfectly cast as vampire lovers who’ve been together since the 18th century, Catherine Denueve and David Bowie stalk New York’s downtown club scene in search of fresh blood (blink and you’ll miss Willem Dafoe). An ultra-stylish time capsule of early Eighties filmmaking.
JUST A GIGOLO (1978) 105min
Director: David Hemmings
Country: West Germany
A rare screening of the film that would briefly unite Bowie with one of cinema’s greatest icons—Marlene Dietrich. An ironic picaraesque tale set amidst the decadent demimonde and political ferment of Weimar Germany, the film details the misfortunes of a Prussian officer (Bowie) reduced to working as a paid escort to make ends meet. With Kim Novak.
Executive Producer Joshua Sinclair will attend the screening.
LABRYRINTH (1986) 101min
Director: Jim Henson
Add villainous Jareth, the treacherous Goblin King, to the array of Bowie personae in this live-action and puppet fairytale fantasy, tempting and tormenting Jennifer Connolly, who must negotiate an otherworldly labyrinth to rescue her baby brother.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976) 138min
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Bowie’s indelible screen debut as an extraterrestrial who builds a billion-dollar corporate empire and creates a private space program to save his dying home world but is undone by earthly emotional attachments and the machinations of a shadowy syndicate.
MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (1982) 124min
Director: Nagisa Oshima
The conflicting cultural imperatives and repressions of East and West collide with tragic consequences in a Japanese POW camp as an unspoken fatal attraction develops between British officer Bowie and camp commander Ryuichi Sakamoto while brutal sergeant Takeshi Kitano looks on disapprovingly.
David Bowie: The Music Videos 1979-2013 53min
Boys Keep Swinging (David Mallet, 1979, 3:17); Fashion (David Mallet, 1980, 3:30)
Ashes to Ashes (David Mallet & David Bowie, 1980, 3:38); Let's Dance (David Mallet, 1983, 4:00); China Girl (David Mallet, 1983, 4:02); Jazzin for Blue Jean (long version) (Julian Temple, 1984, 20m); Jump They Say (Mark Romanek, 1993, 4:02); The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Samuel Bayer, 1995, 5:10; The Stars Are Out Tonight (Floria Sigismondi, 2013, 5:54).
THE PRESTIGE (2006) 130min
Director: Christopher Nolan
Director Nolan insisted that only Bowie could play the pivotal part of legendary real-life inventor Nicola Tesla in this fantasy thriller about two rival 19th-century magicians (played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) who compete over an astounding magic trick made possible by the scientist’s invention.
ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS – THE MOTION PICTURE (1973) 90min
Director: D.A. Pennebaker
Capturing 16 numbers from the 1973 Ziggy Stardust U.K. tour, rock doc vet Pennebaker shoots straight with minimal behind-the-scenes action, and he only has eyes for Bowie (and guitarist Mick Ronson). Not even the band knew that this was to be not only the tour’s final date, but also the official retirement of Ziggy Stardust.
Public Screening Schedule
The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
144 West 65 Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam
Friday, August 2
12:00AM Midnight THE HUNGER (99min)
Saturday, August 3
1:00PM LABYRINTH (Family Films Screening!) (101min)
3.15PM MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (124min)
6:15PM THE PRESTIGE (130min)
9:00PM BAAL (113min) **Free-to-the-public
Sunday, August 4
1.00PM BASQUIAT (106min)
3.15PM ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (108min)
5.45PM THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (138min)
8.30PM ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS – THE MOTION PICTURE (90min) + CRACKED ACTOR (53min)
Monday, August 5
1:00PM THE HUNGER (99min)
3:00PM THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (138min)
Tuesday, August 6
5.15PM JUST A GIGOLO (105min)
7:30PM CHRISTIANE F (Viva Radio Afterparty!) (131min)
Wednesday, August 7
1:00PM MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (124min)
3.45PM BASQUIAT (106min)
6.15PM JUST A GIGOLO (105min)
8.45PM CHRISTIANE F (131min)
Thursday, August 8
4.00PM David Bowie: The Music Videos 1979-2013 (53min) + CRACKED ACTOR (53min)
6:30PM BAAL (113min) **Free-to-the-public
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize and support new directors, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of film. Among its yearly programming of film festivals, film series and special events, the Film Society presents two film festivals in particular that annually attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, which just celebrated its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sidney Poitier, and most recently – Barbra Streisand. FSLC presents its year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational and transmedia programs and specialty film releases at the famous Walter Reade Theater and the state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stonehenge Partners, Stella Artois, the Kobal Collection, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.
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