By Mac Davies-Chalmers
Toronto’s International Film Festival (TIFF) has come and gone, bringing films from around the world to our city. Among the massive roster of movies, one stood out for me most. Moonage Daydream, directed by Brett Morgen, is a musical/documentary that displays the complicated life of rockstar David Bowie. To this day, he is viewed as one of the most influential musicians of all time, producing beloved albums, films, and art. In this article, I will review the film while briefly discussing Bowie’s life and impact.
Rise and Fall
David Robert Jones was born on January eighth, 1947, in London. He studied art and jazz in school, inspired by legends like John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. When his mother bought him his first saxophone at 14, he dedicated his life to becoming a worldwide music sensation.
He released his first album in 1967, titled David Bowie, which featured songs like Uncle Arther and Rubber Band. 2 years later he released Space Oddity, which changed the music industry forever and captured the hearts of millions of people.
As the years went on, he released dozens of albums, such as The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Let’s Dance, and Heroes. He never sold out for money, never let fame corrupt him, and never let others influence his ideas. He was an artist until the bitter end.
Bowie released his 25th and final album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday in 2016. Unfortunately, just two days later, he passed away from an 18-month battle with cancer. He is memorialized by his wife, daughter, and millions of dedicated fans.
Moonage Daydream is a concert, documentary, and psychedelic trip all in one, which dives into the mind of the musical superstar. Unlike other documentaries, there is no form of structure in this movie, which is a good thing. Bowie’s life was famously one of the most complicated among rockstars, and this documentary displays his spirit effortlessly.
While showcasing his all-star lineup of songs, controversial bisexuality, artwork, and films, it also showed his psychological side. Bowie believed in Buddhism and atheism, while still remaining curious about the mysteries of our universe.
If you are still debating whether or not you should watch this film, please realize that it may not be your cup of tea. Only weeks after its debut, it has been very controversial among critics and fans. Many believe it is a masterpiece of cinema, while others think it is a dumpster fire. The only way to experience it properly is to go into this with an empty mind and be able to lose yourself in the music.
Starman’s Legacy & Last Words
When the credits began to roll at the end of the film, the entire crowd was speechless. I’ve never had the opportunity to see Bowie perform live, so this was the closest I’ll ever get to it. The magical experience made the crowd gasp, cheer and sing throughout the entire 2-hour runtime. Being able to witness this film with a theatre full of Bowie fans is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will never forget.
Moonage Daydream is a documentary like no other, expertly diving into David Bowie’s mind and bringing viewers along for the ride. The experience will leave you speechless, changed, and humming Starman for a couple of hours.