I’m English. I can’t accept happiness that easily.
There’s got to be a trick in there somewhere.
There’s a moment in this year’s most talked-about music film that I particularly enjoyed—and like almost everything catchy about David Bowie, it’s perfectly timed. As Brett Morgen’s 134-minute documentary Moonage Daydream arcs into the final portion of its subject’s remarkable life, we catch a glimpse of what appears to be a still from the last music video Bowie ever made. It’s the promo for ‘Lazarus,’ the spooky single from his final album Blackstar, the introductory lyric to which feels like Bowie’s most superfluous line: “Look up here/I’m in heaven.” It’s almost too on-the-nose.
You don’t have to be a Bowie aficionado (although it surely helps) to recognise that this is what he had been singing about in one way or another his whole adult life. He was a spaceman since July 11, 1969 when he boarded his first rocket. He ate his NASA-supplied protein tablets and put on his helmet.
Throughout the rough-and-tumble 48-year career charted by Morgen’s kaleidoscopic film, rock’s self-styled futurist was dogged by the criticism that his art…