‘Moonage Daydream’ Tells Bowie’s Life In Lyrical Stream Of Consciousness

Going into Moonage Daydream, the musical documentary directed by Brett Morgan, you should know ahead of time, it isn’t your typical documentary. You won’t see many talking heads telling you about how David Bowie did this or he did that. This is the documentary that Summer of Soul should’ve been.

Morgan lets musical scenes play out rather than just play snippets with too much voice-over talk which was the biggest blunder of that overrated 2022 Oscar winner didn’t do. Music is meant to be heard, not for people to talk about it. Therefore, if you’re looking for talking-heads gabbing about how great Bowie was or how his music influenced this and other things that usually are in music documentaries, you won’t find it here.

Morgan assembles music videos, live performances, taped interviews Bowie made and even candid footage to tell Bowie’s story from his Ziggy Stardust days to his later years. There’s not really a linear timeline. This may be why it’s got so much criticism from others. It jumps around mostly. There’s barely even a mention of his quarter-century long relationship and marriage to Iman.

Morgan has said, “Bowie cannot be defined, he can be experienced” in crafting the movie in a “unique cinematic experience.” As a matter of fact, it’s hard to review the movie except just to tell you that if you’re a Bowie fan, you’ll love it. Some newcomers might like it but you should know more about Bowie before seeing it. It’s hard to believe Bowie has been goned over seven years, but he had been performing for half a century, going through so many changes.

But you’ll get the idea that Bowie loved performing which seems a rarity sometimes with musicians. I remember one of my friends recalling a Soundgarden concert that she said was so dull and uneventful. There was a beauty to Bowie’s work, even if it was for a music video. It’s not mentioned here but one of the most criticized performance was his duet with Mick Jagger for “Dancing in the Street.” But anyone who has seen the music video or heard it can’t deny that Bowie didn’t half-ass it. He dialed it up to 11.

Ironically, most people only associate Bowie with the Ziggy Stardust era, which was only from 1972 to 1974. I think Bowie created the character to describe his own sexuality. I’d argue that Bowie was the first openly nonbinary celebrity at a time in which human sexuality was finally being discussed in the open. Bowie called himself a closeted heterosexual but later regretted saying he was a bisexual. I don’t think he knew nor did he really care. There were rumors that he and Jagger had sex multiple and a lot of people say that’s reflected in “Dancing in the Streets.”

And his music itself reflected the feeling it couldn’t be fully identified. One might think “Space Oddity” and “Starman” are the same genre but they both different in sound, tone and feeling. But if you take “Let’s Dance,” it has a New Wave pop-rock feel to it that differs from “Dancing.” But what he did have was a particular voice that just sounded different from any performer before and from what we’ve heard since. Take his performance with Queen on “Under Pressure,” only Bowie could outperform Freddie Mercury on a duet.

Yet, we don’t need every music critic from Rolling Stone or Spin to tell us that, we can hear it and see it. If anything else, Moonage Daydream will make viewers upset they never got to see Bowie in concert themselves or those that day sad because they’ll never see it again.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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