From film to videos, Bowie's most memorable visual works

LOS ANGELES -- David Bowie's legend was as intrinsically tied to his aesthetic as it was to his genius as a musician.

See Full Article

His striking looks and unique charisma made Bowie a natural fit for his own music videos and film, where he always lent an eccentric flair in both starring roles and cameos. Here is a look at some of his most memorable visual works:

"Space Oddity" - 1972

The concept is alarmingly simple - just a man and his guitar - but through clever cuts, an energetic animated wavelength and a saturated red tint to the visuals, Bowie and director Mick Rock made a truly iconic short film long before the music video had truly developed into a respected stand-alone art form. According to Rock, Bowie once told his manager that "Mick sees me the way I see myself."

"Life on Mars?" - 1973

Rock also directed the elegantly restrained video for "Life on Mars?" featuring Bowie in a pale blue suit, with globs of thick eyeshadow that transform from blue to purple as Rock experiments with levels of saturation, adding a pop art element to the video. His milky white skin is offset by a spiky, flaming red mullet. Rock didn't need big tricks to make this a classic, just his otherworldly star.

"The Man Who Fell to Earth" - 1976

Filmmaker Nicolas Roeg took a chance on Bowie to lead his ponderous mind-bender "The Man Who Fell to Earth," which finds an alien who is on a mission to Earth to get water for his planet but gets swept up by the pleasures and vices of the human race. Bowie's Thomas Jerome Newton is sickly pale and rail thin with a shock of artificial-looking red hair. In his glowing New York Times review of the film Richard Eder called Bowie's casting "inspired" and his performance "extraordinary."

"Ashes to Ashes" - 1980

This experimental and groundbreaking video co-directed by Bowie and his frequent collaborator David Mallet transports the viewer from scene to scene through tiny shards of glass embedded with moving images. Bowie has a number of characters and costume changes in this mesmerizing video, but it's his pale clown with the major scar and the big red lips that leaves the most lasting (and haunting) impression.

"Labyrinth" - 1986

A decade after "The Man Who Fell To Earth," Bowie dove headfirst into Jim Henson's "Labyrinth," a more child-friendly movie that has become somewhat of a cult classic after it was met with mixed reviews upon its release. Much of that cult status has to do with Bowie's campy, song-filled performance as the spandex-sporting Goblin King, Jareth.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" - 1988

Bowie played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese's controversial epic "The Last Temptation of Christ."

"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" - 1992

Bowie had a small, but pivotal role in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" spinoff film "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" as missing FBI agent Phillip Jeffries, whose sudden reappearance and strange tales help set the tone for the film, which was derided at the time, but has since gained more esteem.

"Basquait" - 1996

Julian Schnabel recruited Bowie to play one of his greatest inspirations, Andy Warhol, who he wrote a song about for his 1971 album "Hunky Dory", in his 1996 biopic about postmodern artist Jean-Michel Basquait. But critics were not especially fond of Bowie's Warhol interpretation. Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman called the impersonation "a bit rickety (he never stops sounding like Bowie)." But, Gleiberman wrote that he nonetheless "has ripe theatrical fun overplaying Warhol's drop-dead murmurings."

"Zoolander" - 2001

Bowie played himself in Ben Stiller's absurdist modeling spoof "Zoolander," providing his services as the master of ceremonies of the hilarious "walk-off."

"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" - 2013

Tilda Swinton plays Bowie's wife in this surreal music video for the song from Bowie's 2013 album "The Next Day." The video, by director Floria Sigismondi, also features Norwegian model Iselin Steiro as a young Bowie.


Latest Entertainment News

  • San Francisco filmmaker won't face criminal charges

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco filmmaker and community activist arrested in connection with a fatal shooting won't immediately face criminal charges, prosecutors said Tuesday. The district attorney's office found insufficient evidence to immediately press charges against Kevin Epps, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Source
  • Man arrested outside Miranda Kerr's home charged with mayhem

    Entertainment CTV News
    Los Angeles prosecutors have charged an Australian man in an attack on a security guard outside supermodel Miranda Kerr's home earlier this month. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says 29-year-old Shaun Anthony Haywood was charged with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday. Source
  • Ciara, Seahawks' Russell Wilson announce pregnancy

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this July 13, 2016, file photo, NFL football player Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks, left, and Ciara arrive at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) Source
  • Lady Gaga jumps in for 'Carpool Karaoke' with James Corden

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There were no wild costumes or caution tape - or at least, not on Lady Gaga. The singer was the latest artist to ride shotgun with Late Late Show host James Corden on Carpool Karaoke. The 30-year-old songstress donned a glittery gold blouse (pussy bow and all) as she sang her new hit 'Perfect Illusion' and some classic Gaga like Bad Romance, complete of course, with the monster claws. Source
  • Justin Timberlake in hot water after posting ballot box selfie

    Entertainment CTV News
    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Justin Timberlake flew from California to Tennessee in order to vote early, and state officials say that's great - but he shouldn't have taken a selfie at the ballot box. The singer posted a picture of himself at the voting booth on Instagram Monday , noting that if he could make that effort, then there are "No excuses, my good people!" Source
  • Justin Timberlake's ballot selfie highlights mixed laws

    Entertainment CTV News
    Now even Justin Timberlake has been forced to deal with the question of whether a ballot selfie is legal. Timberlake flew from California to Tennessee to vote early this week, but his posting of an image of himself at the voting booth on Instagram on Monday drew questions about whether he was breaking the law. Source
  • Brad Pitt 'safety plan' investigation extended

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An investigation into Brad Pitt’s parenting skills has been extended by officials at California’s Department of Child and Family Services. The voluntary “safety plan” was implemented last month, shortly after Pitt’s wife Angelina Jolie filed for divorce amid reports the actor had been abusive on a family plane ride. Source
  • Missing backup dancer for Rihanna found safe

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Shirlene Quigley, a 32-year-old backup dancer who has worked with stars like Beyoncé , Rihanna, and Missy Elliott, is missing. Rihanna posted a video of Quigley on Instagram Monday, asking fans and followers to contact the Bergen County Police Department in New Jersey with any useful information on her whereabouts. Source
  • Woman sues Michael Jackson estate for alleged molestation 30 years ago

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An unnamed woman has filed a new lawsuit against Michael Jackson, accusing the late King of Pop of molesting her three decades ago. The woman claims the Thriller singer started abusing her in 1986 after inviting her and her mother inside the Jackson family compound in Encino, California while they were star spotting. Source