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Hooked to the Silver Screen: Films I Can’t Find and Series Update

“Hooked to the Silver Screen,” named for the line from “Life on Mars,” is my series of commentaries on movies starring or about David Bowie. In that I’m including documentaries and movies in which Bowie is depicted, I actually have a ways to go, despite the finite nature of the list. That said, I’m taking a pause this week because I can’t find Absolute Beginners or Christiane F!!!

Actually, I can’t find other movies as well, specifically The Linguini Incident and Gunslinger’s Revenge. Bowie appeared in all four as an actor. What’s frustrating about Absolute Beginners and Christiane F is that I’ve seen them before, but they are both too fuzzy in my mind to write anything meaningful. Well, that’s not entirely true. Bowie sings in both of those movies and his songs appear on both soundtracks. The trailer for Absolute Beginners, which I’m including here, feature two of Bowie’s songs— his is the only voice other than the narrator’s that appears in the trailer. This is deceptive because he’s on screen for only a few minutes. But the soundtrack includes three Bowie songs, which is a lot for a soundtrack. The Christiane F soundtrack is a Bowie compilation album, which includes some bonus tracks that actually fit nicely on the album. It’s a good compilation. Bowie himself appears as… David Bowie, singing “Station to Station” in concert. Its not actual concert footage— he’s lip syncing the studio version of the song, but it really is David Bowie in the movie.

OK, I also remember that Christiane F is about a young girl who becomes a drug addict. It was supposed to be (and I vaguely remember it as being) shocking at the time it was made in 1981. It’s a German movie and I originally saw it with subtitles. A version without subtitles is on YouTube, but that does nothing for me.

Alas, my memory of the rest of both movies is not as clear, so I’ll have to wait until I find them to give them their own entries in this series.

So where is this series going?

Well, there’s two big Bowie movies I will write about in future weeks for sure: The Man Who Fell to Earth and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawerence. These are two of Bowie’s most significant films in terms of him acting. There are a bunch of other movies in which he appeared in cameo that if I find, I will write about. There are also a few in which he appeared before he was famous, which again, I will write about if I can find.

But the other thing that’s coming up is the drive in movie season. During that part of the year, I’ll switch off from “Divine Symmetry” to “Drive In Saturday Tuesday Movie Review,” which is my series of reviews of movies I see at the drive in, regardless if there’s a Bowie connection. I don’t go to the drive in every week, so Divine Symmetry won’t be entirely retired for the summer.

That said, I also plan to start reviewing Bowie’s videos as videos as part of this series. The videos have all already appeared somewhere in this blog, but my commentary has thus far largely been about the songs rather than the videos (the sound rather than the vision). So, though I don’t like posting the same videos twice, I’m going to do that for the sake of looking at them as videos. So that’s coming soon.

Meanwhile, if you know where I can find those other movies, let me know!!!

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