ACMI Presents: David Bowie on Film

To celebrate the acclaimed exhibition, David Bowie Is, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) with the support of program partner, the British Council, will present the film season David Bowie on Film. The season will showcase over four decades of David Bowie as a performer, influencer and consumer of culture from 20 August to 20 September 2015.

“For over four decades, David Bowie has been a symbol of restless change, rebellion and artistic challenge. A ferocious consumer of culture from mime theatre to punk rock has meant that Bowie’s creativity has effortlessly straddled the worlds of high art and pop culture. Likewise, the ubiquitous influence of Bowie on other artists can be seen all around us, in the most discreet and broad examples of pop culture,” says ACMI Senior Film Programmer, Kristy Matheson.

The season is presented in three parts; David Bowie is feeling Like an Actor, David Bowie is asking you to focus on, and David Bowie is watching you. Also featured in this program will be a live event and film screening.

David Bowie is feeling like an actor… From his memorable onscreen performances working with the great auteurs (like Nicolas Roeg in The Man Who Fell to Earth and Nagisa Ôshima in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence) to electrifying musical performances (Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars), this is Bowie as a big screen performer. Films screening in this section include Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Cracked Actor, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Just a Gigolo, The Hunger, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Absolute Beginners, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and The Prestige.

David Bowie is asking you to focus on… some of his cultural idols and influences. From the captivating combination of Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground (The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound) to the unforgettable screen idol Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel), each shine a light on artists who fascinated Bowie. Films screening include The Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel),The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound, Chelsea Hotel, and Burroughs: The Movie.   

David Bowie is watching you… watching him being reinterpreted. Whether it’s Seu Jorge singing ‘Ziggy Stardust’ in Portuguese from the bow of Wes Anderson’s ship in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or Tilda Swinton’s soulful vampire channelling the spirit of the Thin White Duke in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Bowie continues to serve as a permanent figure of mystique and fascination for artists. Films screening include Dogs in Space, Dogville, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Only Lovers Left Alive.

Live Event and Film Screening with writer and curator Jack Sargeant as he introduces the work of William S. Burroughs and the cut-up technique.

The British Council’s Director of Film, Briony Hanson, said of the partnership; “The British Council is thrilled to be supporting the David Bowie is film program. David Bowie has been appearing in and inspiring films almost as long as he’s been making music. His acting career has been just as eclectic as his musical one, appearing in films by Jim Henson, Nic Roeg, Martin Scorsese and Tony Scott, and playing diverse roles such as a vampire, Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol. As a representative of the innovation, excitement and risk that continues to characterise British creativity, they don’t get bigger than Bowie!”

ACMI will screen David Bowie on Film from Thursday 20 August to Sunday 20 September 2015. For session times, tickets and information please visit acmi.net.au/bowie-on-film.

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