[This was my column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
My collection of David Bowie books takes up nearly two metres of shelf space in the home office. I’ve read practically everything about him, scoured all the websites, written about him on innumerable occasions, seen him live half a dozen times, collected all the memorabilia, and interviewed him twice. What more was there to learn?
Plenty, it turns out.
Brent Morgan, the director behind 2015’s excellent Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, as well as films on The Rolling Stones and Hollywood mogul Robert Evans, takes a different look at Bowie with his new film, Moonage Daydream. I guess it’s a documentary, but it’s more of an immersive experience of who Bowie was and what he accomplished over his career. It runs chronologically like a normal doc (well, sometimes), but it offers perspectives on Bowie in a way unlike I’ve seen before. If you’re looking for a traditional documentary, you’re in the wrong place.
With the blessing of the Bowie estate, Morgan spent many 16-hour days over five years digging through more than five million assets in his archives — apparently, the man was a packrat bordering on being a hoarder — uncovering many things previously unseen: lost concert footage, backstage clips, rare interviews and more. He then found a way to string together an intimate cinematic experience that will have even the most hardcore Bowiephiles cocking their head and going “Wot?”
I spoke to Brett about the film. This interview has been lightly edited for space and clarity.