“Moonage Daydream”: transcending the Bowie galaxy

This is Bowie told by Bowie. Brett Morgen directs the lens of his telescope towards the UFO of the rock’n’roll planet and zooms in on David Bowie’s protean microcosm down to the smallest detail. In his most recent documentary, the portrait painter of the seventh art, to whom we owe in particular Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heckpaints a dazzling picture of the artist, at the border of the never seen and, above all, in the image of a bold, ambiguous and fascinating icon for eternity.

Moonage Daydream is, in fact, an ultimate tribute sent to the beyond to David Bowie, more than six years after his death, while the magnetic voice of his spectrum resounds from the first seconds. Through the archives, Bowie traces his experimentation with art, music, sexuality, modern loves, and evokes his relationship to appearances, gender, spirituality and ego to better undo ” of the archetypal rock star disguised as a messiah”, he says himself while the echo of Love Me Do of the Beatles is heard and the faces of his excited fans parade.

The art of rhythm

Thanks to the technical prowess of Brett Morgen, the chameleon man, who has never been apart from a contradiction, accompanies the spectator in the exploration of what marked his existence, in his way of moving in an impetuous world. For five years, the Californian filmmaker has indeed produced meticulous craftsmanship in terms of editing, somehow assembling the thousands of pieces of a puzzle. The result resembles a psychedelic journey, in the manner of its protagonist who has never ceased to probe emotions and colors.

We willingly get lost in mooning Daydreamand then we bounce from one persona of David Bowie to another, from one work to the next, on plural memories drawn from photo albums, discussions, recordings, music videos and excerpts from concerts and films in which he acted or not and which illustrate his supernatural extravagance.

As for the Bowie songs chosen by Morgen to dress this kaleidoscopic fresco — Cracked Actor, Aladdin Sane, Starman, Hallo space boy, Space Oddity, heroes… —, they also play the role of revealing the innumerable expressions of a David Bowie both grandiose and cataclysmal, always at the forefront of his time, his space, and never lacking in his cutting humour.

Rather than providing boring explanations and justifications for the idol life led by David Bowie, Moonage Daydream allows both an informed and neophyte public to escape into its abundant universe and to observe its creative impulse evolve from London to Berlin, from New York to Japan, from masculine to feminine. There is now no doubt: David Bowie was indeed a man who came from elsewhere.

Moonage Daydream


Documentary by Brett Morgen. Germany–USA, 2022, 135 minutes. In theaters in IMAX format from September 16, then in the usual format on September 23.

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“Moonage Daydream”: transcending the Bowie galaxy