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The July 3rd, 1973 historic concert of the 'leper Messiah'. This was to be David Bowie's last concert with the Ziggy persona and the Spiders from Mars. A great medley of 'Wild Eyed Boy From... See full summary »
Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return spacecraft, and meets Mary-Lou, a girl who falls in love with him. He does not count on the greed and ruthlessness of business here on Earth, however.Written by
Gene Volovich <email@example.com>
I went into this film expecting something more like Walkabout, because that is all I had seen of Nicholas Roeg's work previously, and the thought of David Bowie being in it enticed me. Really, though, I had it backwards... It's David Bowie's creation with a little bit of Nicholas Roeg in it.
The whole "human alien" thing is very much Bowie's schtick, and to a degree I found it hard not to imagine that this was Bowie's entire idea of himself. A sort of silent tragedy encompasses his character, expressed mostly in the scene with the eye-test where Bowie says very smally and pathetically "Oh... now I'll never get them out." Bowie sees himself as an alien that just can't escape being human.
On a broader sense than this one artist's idea, however, this is a fascinating science fiction film because it points out a side of human nature not often developed very well in other science fiction films. Instead of dissecting the alien, which is what everyone always expects humans will do, the humans do everything in their power to make him more human. Where not actually working towards constructing this "other" as a human, they try to own him, via capitalism or politics or, yes, even love.
It's interesting then the space they put him in, with all of the various rooms like different human-empathetic places. On one hand, it's a self-reflective look at the "set" of the movie, showing that we are designing this alien to look human, but secondly a lot of it is surreally natural, as if to imply that even nature is forced to be human at our hands.
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