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UK 1975
Directed by
Alan Yentob
53 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Cracked Actor

It is a bit of a push to call this 53-minute-long 1974 instalment of the BBC’s Omnibus television series a documentary but for anyone interested in David Bowie, needless to say,  it will be essential viewing.  Filmed at the time of Bowie’s post-glam incarnation, it combines contemporary interview footage of Bowie on his Diamond Dogs tour of America, with excerpts from a show at the Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre on 2nd September 1974. It also includes extracts from D.A. Pennebaker's concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which had been shot at London's Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973 and which was the final stage appearance of the Ziggy Stardust character.

We get up close with the neurasthenic star, who at that time still had his North London accent (and who was also addicted to cocaine) as he reflects on "the story so far and in particular his Ziggy Stardust persona, a Tommy-like monster with which Bowie was still coming to terms.

The quality of the visuals is relatively rough by today’s standards but the film shows well how as an artist Bowie was significantly different from his pop and rock star peers and there is no questioning its historical value.




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