David Bowie during his first visit to USA, Holiday Inn, NYC, 1971 | ebay.com
So I’ve never seen Labryrinth before… Thoughts from those who have? Is it a must see?
I haven’t seen it, either. ☺️ Fill us in, Bowie fans!
Look, nobody can see everything, and I’d be the last person to shame anyone for what they ain’t seen. I studied film in the 70s, been in and around the movie business for decades, seen 150-200 movies a year since the early 60s, and have still never seen a godfather picture, even though I like other Coppola movies and other work by those actors. (Short version: spare me angry, lawless men.) Sorry man, no time. Life is short. Can’t see all the movies.
BUT THIS IS BOWIE AND MUPPETS. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? LOL
Kidding aside, this is 100% a kids movie. Not like Muppet Movies which are made two-thirds for grownups, but ACTUAL kids stuff. Not all of it works, and the mixed reviews and box office underperformance sent Jim Henson into a bit of a tailspin.
You should also know that his collaborators included George Lucas and Monty Python’s Terry Jones. There’s some genuinely thrilling stuff here, some exceptional wit, and wall-to-wall striking visuals, to say the least.
My wife and I saw it a couple of times in theaters when it came out in 1986, (already aged closer to 30 than 20, but always up for a kids movie), owned it on LaserDisc (did I mention I’m old? LOL)….
AND IT HAS BOWIE AND MUPPETS!!! (Embed below; here’s the link for mobile peeps)
More broadly, I think anyone is right to assume that a movie with Bowie in it is probably not going to be a good time. (Sorry, not sorry. If you can watch The Man Who Fell To Earth and not want to kill yourself after you’ve murdered a whole bunch of other people, you’re tougher than I am. LOL)
And I’ll be the first to admit Bowie and his music aren’t necessarily the best part of this movie, and might not be enough to carry you through.
For example, how do you feel about closeups of farting mud assholes? Because my wife and I still find a way to bring up The Bog Of Eternal Stench around our house every couple of weeks, nearly 40 years later. Featuring 16 year old Jennifer Connelly…..and farting mud assholes. (Link)
(Note that when Labyrinth was screened for the Royal Family, Prince Charles was the only one who laughed at this scene, among the many gems you’ll find at the film’s IMDb page.)
The trailer lands pretty close to the mark, if somewhat on the somber side (whereas the movie as a whole does in fact seem like its writers include a member of Monty Python), so by all means take a gander.
So I don’t want to oversell it. It really is movie for KIDS. But the awesome stuff is awesome enough that the movie has become a worldwide cult favorite for generations. It is one million percent worth 101 minutes of your time.
Life On Mars? 2016
From Mick Rock’s 1973 video for the 1971 classic Hunky Dory track
On the New Mexico set of The Man Who Fell To Earth, by Steve Schapiro (who had also photographed Buster Keaton)
David Bowie, Hilversum, “Top Pop”, Amsterdam, Circa 74 ⚡️💥⚡️
February 7, 1974 to be exact. Lip-synced, yes, but also absolutely on fire.
Loves to be loved, loves to be loved
“The Jean Genie” on Top of the Pops, first aired January 4, 1973
David Bowie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Nile Rodgers during the making of Let’s Dance, by Chuck Pulin