Striking camera shots are not properly synchronized with narration. So, what is left are masterful visuals, interesting premise, intriguing plot and existing story structure that looses its focus towards the end of the second act. And it's all done in a favor of abstract imagery and out of place scenes that take too long, while the main premise is left ignored. By the closing credits, the viewer feels unwelcomed.
The great pre-Star Wars science fiction film of the 70s, even if some of its El Topo surrealistic touches are a bit overdone. Bowie's distanced personality and rampant cocaine addiction provided him with an appropriately alien sheen - he's no actor, but he's a really compelling amateur. Only in the 21st century have we seen sci-fi return in this form, where 'alienation' as a concept is explored (Under the Skin?).
For such a heavy science fiction premise picturing Bowie as an alien is not such a stretch for the imagination! I really enjoyed this movie and appreciated the pacing to cut away the road to success and jump to the exploration of humanity. The majesty of Bowie was astounding and the reaction to his transformation scarring. Topping this I loved the conversations playing bewteen scenes on the television and in person.
Far from perfect, The Man Who Fell To Earth uses Bowie brilliantly, in his first starring film role, and also gets decent performances from Candy Clark and Rip Torn, among others. The editing and visuals are sublime, the script resonates beautifully at times, and I now view this as a near-masterpiece, despite the flaws.
"Are you Lithuanian?!" I can see the cult appeal from its unique moments, and they certainly kept me watching. Zoom in on a painting of a cross-eyed cat. Interrupt a dispute with a tray of freshly baked cookies. Feature an array of flaccid and bushy genitals. What a time capsule!
Worth a watch for the Bowie performance in alien acting, that is really commendable, but lacks in rythm and peppers the film with voyeuristic scenes that do not add much to the plot. Some of the experimental cinema is pretty cool as well. Too many scenes feel unfinished.
La performance de David Bowie - parfais dans sa totale étrangeté - est évidemment le grand atout de ce conte de science-fiction… mais le reste du casting ne démérite pas ! La lenteur du récit et le maintien d'un certain mystère se révèlent payants. Certes, Nicolas Roeg abuse de nombreux effets de style "typiquement 70's", mais l'histoire et son romantisme décalé restent les plus forts. Mélancolie extraterrestre…