You might have heard the terribly shocking news that David Bowie, the king of pop rock and experimental music, has died. Sadly, it's true; the 69-year-old actor passed away peacefully surrounded by family, following an 18-month battle with cancer.
It's hard to imagine a lot of the music of today without Bowie's generous contributions; a lot of musicians were and still are being inspired by his long and incredible career!
From hits likes 'Let's Dance' and 'Valentine's Day', to his "weird and proud" performances as his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie has always been worth paying attention to. While I'm a huge fan of his always changing music (he's gone from pop rock to Nu-jazz and back again), I've also taken note of his many incredible film roles. And since this is a site mainly about movies, and talking about movies is what I do best, I've decided to compile a list of what I believe to be David Bowie's greatest film roles.
5. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Let's be honest, nothing about Twin Peaks makes that much sense. Whether you've seen a little or seen a lot, there's a big chance you can't explain everything about the king of psychological thrillers that is Twin Peaks. It's just all so incredibly bizarre and... well, psychological.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me might not have been as popular as the Twin Peaks series, but it was certainly just as psychologically perplexing! A good example of the way this movie likes to mess with your mind is David Bowie's role.
Bowie portrays FBI agent Phillip Jeffries, who suddenly reappears after mysteriously going missing for two years. He immediately goes to his superior, Gordon Cole, to try and explain where he's been. After saying a bunch of events and names completely unfamiliar to the viewer, he disappears into thin air once again!
Even though it was just a cameo, David Bowie's scene in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is one of the weirdest and inexplicable ones! To this day, fans are confused and befuddled by his strange words and sudden reappearance then disappearance.
With Twin Peaks coming back in the form of a limited series, hopefully one of the many questions it finally answers is what the heck Phillip Jeffries was going on about!
Basquiat is a unique biopic that follows the life of the1970s postmodernist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It's an incredible drama that showcases the rise of Basquiat's career as an artist, all the way to his unfortunate death at the early age of 27.
The film had several great performances by Jeffrey Wright, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper and, of course, David Bowie.
Bowie portrayed Andy Warhol; Basquiat's friend and mentor, and an artist himself. Casting a renowned and controversial artist as another renowned and controversial artist was a great decision!
Just like David Bowie, Basquait is very surreal and wonderfully bizarre! You can actually watch Basquait on Netflix now if you haven't seen it!
3. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Though more of a filmed concert, and not a traditional movie, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars follows the career of Ziggy - David Bowie's androgynous on-stage persona from 1972 to 73.
His hair dyed red, and sporting a very flashy costume, Bowie first appeared on stage as Ziggy Stardust in 1972, before announcing his retirement from the character on-stage in 1973 during a show.
He'd made two of his most popular and influential albums during his time as Ziggy: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and Aladdin Sane. The film featured Bowie (as Ziggy) and the Spiders performing songs from both of these albums. The film also featured songs from other albums, such as 'Changes' from the album Hunky Dory and 'Space Oddity' from the album of the same name.
The film concludes with Bowie's announcement that he'd be "killing off" his Ziggy persona after the show. Though he never portrayed Ziggy again, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is still a hit among fans of Bowie, and Ziggy, alike!
If you want to hear some great music from David Bowie, and witness his incredibly acting prowess as he loses himself in the strange role of Ziggy, then this movie is the one for you!
2. The Prestige
Andy Warhol isn't the only influential historical icon that David Bowie has portrayed! Bowie portrays the famous inventor Nikola Tesla in The Prestige.
The Prestige is about two magicians who, after a series of tragic events, grow to hate each other and constantly try to sabotage the other's acts. Desperately trying to one-up each other, the two magicians walk down a dangerous road that leads to loneliness, humiliation, and eventually, death.
The magicians are portrayed by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. That's right, Batman and Wolverine battling against each other to FINALLY determine who's the better... magician.
David Bowie's presence in the film isn't for very long, but his role is certainly large - as one might expect from playing one of the most famed inventors of all time.
In the film, Tesla supplies Robert Angier (Jackman) with a device capable of teleporting whoever steps in side—allowing Angier to perform an amazing trick.
However, it turns out that the machine also creates duplicates of the person who uses it, and Tesla advises that Angier destroy it. Of course, he doesn't, because no one ever listens to the genius inventor.
You knew it was coming, I had to save the best for last! Of all his incredible film roles, none are as incredible, as phenomenal, and as completely unforgettable as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth!
Everybody has seen this movie at least once or twice, likely during their childhood. Whether you were born in the '80s, '90s or the early '00s, there's a good chance you've seen Labyrinth - in all of its extremely strange glory!
The film follows Sarah Williams, a 15-year-old girl who travels to another world to save her little brother, after she inadvertently wishes him away. With her infant brother in the hands of Jareth, Sarah must journey through the Goblin King's Labyrinth in 13 hours in order to save him.
Everything about this movie is memorable, from the fantasy world, to the bizarre characters, to the catchy music! And of course, with David Bowie being a professional musician, it's his song that people remember and love most about the film!
So there you have it, my top 5 favorite David Bowie movie roles!
David Bowie was such an influential icon, that it seemed impossible for someone like him to have actually passed away. But even though he's passed, he's not gone! David Bowie is such a talented and incredible star, and his legacy lives on in his music and his films!
Bowie will always live on in our hearts, our radios, and our television sets. We can always revisit the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust, and we can always 'Dance, Magic Dance' every time we watch Labyrinth!
David Bowie was much more than a hero, much more than a legend—he was a giant! And as such, his presence will never truly go away.