Remembering 2016 No 1
Recalling David Bowie’s Acting Career
In honour of the late, great David Bowie, this is a wee list of 5 of his film appearances over the years.
Bowie has of course influenced many such as writers of the excellent BBC time travelling series, Life on Mars (2006-07) and it’s sequel Ashes to Ashes (2008) to comedy in the form of Flight of the Conchords (2007-09).
5. The Snowman (1982)
The Snowman – David Bowie intro, MeWantLutz, http://www.youtube.com
Bowie narrated this children’s animated classic – telling of the adventures of a boy and his snowman once the latter becomes magically alive – which in 1982 was shown on Channel 4 as part of it’s Christmas schedule in Great Britain. It’s feels like it’s been on Christmas television ever since. I remember Aled Jones sang the soundtrack song which even entered the British charts at the time. I remember like most British kids my age that I hoped his voice would break when he’d sing it live on British telly. As a family, this was essential viewing instigated by my gran, which after a number of years meant us running from the room when the tune started. Forgot Bowie narrated it, til now. Wonder what he made of the excellent Irn Bru parody.
4. Zoolander (2001)
timkiwi, Zoolander – Walk Off Scene, http://www.youtube.com
Zoolander is a Ben Stiller comedy about the male model Derek Zoolander and his rivalry with Hansel. In this film there is a wee cameo where Bowie instruments then judges a walk off competition between the male models, Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson). In the scene, he totally upstages them. Questionable is the fact that Stiller and his fellow writers feel they have to mention who Bowie is on-screen. Perhaps it for those of us who had the “OMG It’s Bowie!” moment at the cinema. Or perhaps they had that moment themselves and it’s just to remind them how awesome it is.
3. Into the Night (1985)
David Bowie in Into The Night, Bodacea1, http://www.youtube.com
This John Landis directed film tells about Ed, an insomniac played by Jeff Goldblum becomes unwittingly involved with a jewel smuggler Diane, in played by a young Michelle Pfeiffer. In this film Bowie plays a British hitman who is in pursuit of Diane. As with John Landis film The Blues Brothers (1980) there are a large number of cameos such as the writers of classic films such as author Colin Higgins – writer of Harold and Maude (1971) – and Lawrence Kasden, who of course wrote Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
2. The Prestige (2006)
John T, Bowie as Nikola Tesla in ‘The Prestige’, http://www.youtube.com
The film tells about two magicians who are two rival English magicians in the 19th century, who try and outdo each other..with unforseen consequences. Only saw this film recently thanks to darlin’ husband who had to mansplain it afterwards so watch carefully. Still often confuse it with The Illusionist (2006). Bowie’s first appearance in this film is electrifying as the inventor, Tesla who creates a teleporting machine for
Huge Hugh Jackman’s character for his stage show. The film was co-written by Christopher Nolan so as well as Bowie look out for Nolan regulars, Rebecca Hall and Sir Michael Caine.
1. Labyrinth (1986)
LABYRINTH TRAILER, MonkeyBrainsMedia, http://www.youtube.com
Of course, this film is number 1 , REALLY did you expect anything else. This George Lucas directed film tells how teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) wishes her half baby brother is taken away by the Goblin King, so he does… Bowie plays the Goblin KIng in this 1980s fantasy classic. If you asked any adult brought up in the 1980s which fantasy film they remember from this film it would be this one.. over other gems such as The Dark Crystal (1980) – which now looks really creepy – and Willow (1988) which is NOT a movie about my family despite what the stepdudes say – as they are under the impression, all Scottish people are small. Bowie of course is remembered for his tight fitting goblin king costume more than his role, which many a schoolgirl swooned over – and of course Bowie being the only person ever to get away with having a mullet in the 1980s.